The White Sheik (1952)
"Lo sceicco bianco" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  25 April 1956 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,403 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 26 critic

During a day in their honeymoon a couple is separated by the city's lust and the desires it produces.



(story) (as M. Antonioni) , (story) (as F. Fellini) , 4 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A beautiful but ambitious young woman joins a traveling troupe of third-rate vaudevillians and inadvertently causes jealousy and emotional crises.

Directors: Federico Fellini, Alberto Lattuada
Stars: Peppino De Filippo, Carla Del Poggio, Giulietta Masina
Il Bidone (1955)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A trio of con-men lead by a lonesome swindler must deal with their job and family pressures.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart, Giulietta Masina
I Vitelloni (1953)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A character study of five young men at crucial turning points in their lives in a small town in Italy.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An orchestra assmbles for a rehearsal in an ancient chapel under the inquisive eyes of a TV documentary crew, but an uprising breaks out.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Balduin Baas, Clara Colosimo, Elizabeth Labi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Amelia and Pippo are reunited after several decades to perform their old music-hall act (imitating Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) on a TV variety show. It's both a touchingly nostalgic ... See full summary »

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Giulietta Masina, Franco Fabrizi
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Freddie Jones, Barbara Jefford, Victor Poletti
Intervista (1987)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Cinecitta, the huge movie studio outside Rome, is 50 years old and Fellini is interviewed by a Japanese TV crew about the films he has made there over the years as he begins production on ... See full summary »

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Sergio Rubini, Antonella Ponziani, Maurizio Mein
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Visions, memories, and mysticism all help a 40-something woman to find the strength to leave her cheating husband.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Giulietta Masina, Sandra Milo, Mario Pisu
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Casanova is a libertine, collecting seductions and sexual feats. But he is really interested in someone, and is he really an interesting person ? Is he really alive ?

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Tina Aumont, Cicely Browne
City of Women (1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A businessman finds himself trapped at a hotel and threatened by women en masse.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Prucnal, Bernice Stegers
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Paolo Villaggio, Nadia Ottaviani
Drama | Fantasy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A series of disjointed mythical tales set in first century Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Max Born


Cast overview, first billed only:
Fernando Rivoli - il sceicco bianco
Brunella Bovo ...
Wanda Giardino Cavalli
Leopoldo Trieste ...
Ivan Cavalli
Lilia Landi ...
Felga - La zingara del fotoromanzo
Ernesto Almirante ...
Dottore Fortuna - il regista del fotoromanzo
Fanny Marchiò ...
Marilena Alba Vellardi
Gina Mascetti ...
Aida Rivoli - La moglie di Fernando
Jole Silvani
Enzo Maggio ...
Anna Primula
Mimo Billi ...
Man on the beach
Armando Libianchi
Ugo Attanasio ...
Uncle of Ivan
Giulio Moreschi


The first two days of a marriage. Ivan, a punctilious clerk brings his virginal bride to Rome for a honeymoon, an audience with the Pope, and to present her to his uncle. They arrive early in the morning, and he has time for a nap. She sneaks off to find the offices of a romance magazine she reads religiously: she wants to meet "The White Sheik," the hero of a soap-opera photo strip. Star-struck, she ends up 20 miles from Rome, alone on a boat with the sheik. A distraught Ivan covers for her, claiming she's ill. That night, each wanders the streets, she tempted by suicide, he by prostitutes. The next day, at 11, is their papal audience. Can things still right themselves? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

honeymoon | boat | sword | swing | runaway | See All (21) »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 April 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The White Sheik  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Marilena Alba Vellardi: Real life is the life of dreams.
Wanda Giardino Cavalli: I'm always dreaming.
See more »


Referenced in Zwischen Kino und Konzert - Der Komponist Nino Rota (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

I think I may agree with the notion...
10 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...that Federico Fellini, one of the most gifted and visually wild Italian directors of the 20th century, blossomed out until with his masterpiece 8 1/2 (which, by the time he got to, as Martin Scorsese once said, "he was on Mars"). With his first solo effort, parting ways with Rossellini but not entirely from neo-realism, he went back to one of his passions- comic-book writing. Los Sciecco Bianco (The White Shiek) is likely one of Fellini's funniest works, and it shows him gearing up his visual sense of space, and with his trademark characters (set, which is his usual, in Rome).

The story is quite simple and, for the novice to Fellini's daring feats of the 60's, entertaining and accessible. A man with a level of pride in his family's connections in bureaucracy and religion in Rome (played by Leopoldo Triste, with perfect usage of wide eyes), is married to a young woman, Wanda (Brunella Bovo). She loves him, but finds him perhaps a little un-easy to be around for a day. So, she sneaks off for what she thinks is just a momentary call for fandom- she's a big fan of 'the white sheik', the star of the kinds of comics being printed in Italy (mostly for women, as said on the DVD, they were still photos as opposed to drawings, with pulp/love stories). But, in a Fellinian twist, Wanda gets whisked away by the shooting crew of the series, and Ivan (Triste) is stuck in one of those text-book comic situations, where everything is "under control". The results are rather funny, if also intriguing.

The little characters are also what makes the film fun, aside from our lead couple, and with this film we get the white sheik himself, Fernando Rivoli (Alberto Sordi, who finds that line between a stealthily romantic type and hopelessly dim), and the crew, filled with their little comments. Plus, there is a late-night visit to Ivan in a despairing state, from Cabiria (later to appear in one of Masina/Fellini's best combinations, Nights of Cabiria), involving a flame shooter. And as the film unravels, it becomes key to the fun- we know things will turn out right somehow, but how is what makes the film work (unlike Fellini, some might think, as many of his other films are the opposite, with flights of fantastical comedy in hopeless tragedies). It's not a great film, there are some inconsistencies, and at a couple of points the pace loses its strength. But if this was a place to evolve from for the director, it's not a bad place in the slightest. That there are wonderful turns for Trieste, Bovo, Marchio, and legendary composer Nina Rota, is another reason to watch it.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ending of White Sheik foolforfilm
Criterion Collection DVD Is Going OOP! jamescastle
Was this a prequel to ,,, alisotom
Discuss The White Sheik (1952) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: