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

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 April 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 44,578 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 161 user | 115 critic | 12 from

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



(story), (story), 6 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


The Sweet Life See more »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




| | |

Release Date:

19 April 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Dolce Vita  »

Box Office


$19,516,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A scene was mooted that involved Marcello's relationship with an older writer, Dolores, to be played by Oscar winning actress Luise Rainer. After much protracted discussions and difficulties, due to Luise Rainer's wish to rewrite her role somewhat, Federico Fellini cancelled the scene altogether. The actress was furious, reportedly saying, "I have spoiled a priceless piece of cloth on this character that will never be!" See more »


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 »


Transvestite: By 1965 there'll be total depravity. How squalid everything will be.
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Referenced in Wheelchair Werewolf (2008) See more »


Mama (He's Making Eyes At Me )
Written by Sidney Clare and Con Conrad
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User Reviews

Bitterness Of The Sweet Life
9 May 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

LA DOLCE VITA presents a series of incidents in the life of Roman tabloid reporter Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni)--and although each incident is very different in content they create a portrait of an intelligent but superficial man who is gradually consumed by "the sweet life" of wealth, celebrity, and self-indulgence he reports on and which he has come to crave.

Although the film seems to be making a negative statement about self-indulgence that leads to self-loathing, Fellini also gives the viewer plenty of room to act as interpreter, and he cleverly plays one theme against its antithesis throughout the film. (The suffocation of monogamy vs. the meaninglessness of promiscuity and sincere religious belief vs. manipulative hypocrisy are but two of the most obvious juxtapositions.) But Fellini's most remarkable effect here is his ability to keep us interested in the largely unsympathetic characters LA DOLCE VITA presents: a few are naive to the point of stupidity; most are vapid; the majority (including the leads) are unspeakably shallow--and yet they still hold our interest over the course of this three hour film.

The cast is superior, with Marcello Mastroianni's personal charm particularly powerful. As usual with Fellini, there is a lot to look at on the screen: although he hasn't dropped into the wild surrealism for which he was sometimes known, there are quite a few surrealistic flourishes and visual ironies aplenty--the latter most often supplied by the hordes of photographers that scuttle after the leading characters much like cockroaches in search of crumbs. For many years available to the home market in pan-and-scan only, the film is now in a letterbox release that makes it all the more effective. Strongly recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

65 of 82 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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