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La califfa (1970)

As strikes upset Italy, the Califfa's husband is killed and she becomes a passionate militant of the strikers. She opposes the factory manager Doverdo who used to be himself a worker.


Alberto Bevilacqua


Alberto Bevilacqua (novel), Alberto Bevilacqua (screenplay)
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Director: Luciano Salce
Stars: Ugo Tognazzi, Catherine Spaak, Béatrice Altariba


Cast overview, first billed only:
Romy Schneider ... Irene Corsini detta 'La Califfa' -la bella e fiera vedova di un operaio ucciso
Ugo Tognazzi ... Annibale Doberdò - il proprietario della fabbrica
Massimo Farinelli Massimo Farinelli ... Giampiero Doberdò figlio
Marina Berti ... Clementine Doberdò - la moglie di Annibale
Guido Alberti Guido Alberti ... Il monsignore
Roberto Bisacco ... Bisacco
Gigi Ballista Gigi Ballista ... Il principe industriale
Massimo Serato ... L'industriale fallito
Eva Brun Eva Brun ... La moglie dell'industriale fallito
Luigi Casellato Luigi Casellato ... Il questore
Ernesto Colli Ernesto Colli ... Un operaio
Ugo de Carellis Ugo de Carellis
Enzo Fiermonte ... L'operaio sindacalista
Salvatore Lago Salvatore Lago
Giorgio Piazza Giorgio Piazza


As strikes upset Italy, the Califfa's husband is killed and she becomes a passionate militant of the strikers. She opposes the factory manager Doverdo who used to be himself a worker.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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France | Italy



Release Date:

9 November 1971 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Lady Caliph See more »

Filming Locations:

Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


French visa # 37628 delivered on 16-7-1971. See more »

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User Reviews

Magnificent movie
14 December 2017 | by chrisdfilmSee all my reviews

It's hard to put my thoughts into words about this film. I write about movies a lot, but this one stumps me in a way because it is such a punch in the gut. There is a beautiful, romantic, tragic sadness about it, a melancholia falling somewhere in tone between the trenchant, pessimistic sexual/political works of Mauro Bolognini and Francesco Maselli, the sharp mix of realism and dark satire of Elio Petri and Dino Risi, and the magical realism of Fellini. Romy Schneider is perfect in the role of a larger-than-life woman - a living legend - a crusading widow of a slain labor leader with nothing left to lose. Ugo Tognazzi is the bullheaded owner of the factory where she works. There is a general strike not just at his factory but at all the affiliated factories in a consortium of bosses/businessmen who care only about the bottom line and nothing about the welfare or safety of their workers. The two characters, activist Schneider and boss (and former worker) Tognazzi begin the story hating each other, gradually form a grudging respect for each other and finally have a meeting of the minds that forms an alliance that will break the labor dispute impasse. But the other factory bosses are unhappy with Tognazzi's reforms, and soon an ominous shadow of doom forms around Tognazzi, isolating him and pointing to possible tragic climax. Ennio Morricone supplies one of his most beautiful scores. The composer was obviously moved by the film and performances, and it shows up in his simpatico, subtle underlining of the romantic, melancholic mood. Elegiac and memorable.

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