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La Dolce Vita (1960)
"La dolce vita" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  19 April 1961 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 36,398 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 150 user | 93 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

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(story), (story), 6 more credits »
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Title: La Dolce Vita (1960)

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Top 250 #248 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Maddalena (as Anouk Aimee)
Yvonne Furneaux ...
Emma
...
Fanny (as Magali Noel)
Alain Cuny ...
Annibale Ninchi ...
Il padre di Marcello
Walter Santesso ...
...
Robert - marito di Sylvia
Jacques Sernas ...
Il divo
Nadia Gray ...
Nadia
Valeria Ciangottini ...
Paola
Riccardo Garrone ...
Riccardo
Ida Galli ...
Debuttante dell'anno
Audrey McDonald ...
Jane (as Audey McDonald)
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Storyline

Journalist and man-about-town Marcello struggles to find his place in the world, torn between the allure of Rome's elite social scene and the stifling domesticity offered by his girlfriend, all the while searching for a way to become a serious writer. Written by Jeff Lewis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The world's most talked about movie today! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

19 April 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Dolce Vita  »

Box Office

Gross:

$19,516,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere) | (re-release) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous scene in the Trevi Fountain was shot in March, when nights were still cold. According to Federico Fellini (in an interview with Costanzo Costantini), Anita Ekberg stood in the cold water in her dress for hours without any trouble. Marcello Mastroianni, on the other hand, had to wear a wetsuit beneath his clothes, and even that wasn't enough. Still freezing, he downed an entire bottle of vodka, so that he was completely drunk while shooting the scene. See more »

Goofs

The water in the Trevi Fountain continues flowing even after the sound of it has faded away, and only stops when the camera changes view. See more »

Quotes

Transvestite: By 1965 there'll be total depravity. How squalid everything will be.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Best of Gilda Radner (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Performed by Alain Cuny
See more »

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User Reviews

Complex And Rambling
22 May 2009 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Mostly because of the terrific high contrast, B&W visuals, and the evocative music, this is the only Fellini film I have seen that I have somewhat enjoyed. I recommend it, but not without reservations. It's a complex film with many textured layers of meaning. And, in typical Fellini fashion, it rambles and it meanders.

Deviating from standard three-Act structure, Fellini's story consists of roughly eight episodes, all starting at night and ending at dawn, more or less. Each has its own crisis. And the only thing that unites these episodes into a coherent whole is the story's protagonist, Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni). In his job as a journalist and overall observer of human nature, Marcello encounters people in high society who seem outwardly happy and self-fulfilled. On closer examination, however, these people are empty, hollow, alienated, emotionally adrift and vacant.

A good example is the starlet Sylvia (Anita Ekberg), a glamorous figure, but she's all image and no substance. "La dolce vita" is the first film that uses the concept of "paparazzi", which implies the importance of "image", separate from substance.

Throughout the various episodes Marcello sees these "images" of happiness, of contentment, but the images are deceptive, elusive, unreliable. In one episode, two "miracle" children "see" the Madonna. "The Madonna is over there", shouts one child. The crowd chases after her. But the other child who "sees" the Madonna runs in the opposite direction. Happiness, self-fulfillment, religious visions ... they're all a will-o'-the-wisp. And so, the film conveys a sense of pessimism and cynicism.

The film thus has deep thematic value. It caused a scandal when it was released, and was banned by the Catholic Church, apparently for appearing to be anti-religious.

Yet for all its deep meaning, "La dolce vita" can be a trial to sit through. Somewhere in the second half I began to lose interest. I don't have a problem with Fellini's deviation from standard plot structure. I do have a problem with a director who doesn't know when to quit. This film goes on for almost three hours. A good edit, to delete all the fat, would have tightened up the story and rendered it more potent. As is, it's too strung out, too stretched, too meandering.

If the viewer can persevere, there's enormous cinematic art in this film. And helped along by Nino Rota's music, the film is wonderfully evocative, at times stylishly melancholy.


35 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
poor movie omar_sy
the young blond girl from the restaurant gabypanama
The ENDLESS party scene GiantTurtleBoy
You hated Dolce but loved another Fellini's? svallee-5
Interesting how your views on Marcello's life may change over time... crawsh
The sequence with the father... gustavocec
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