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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 44,750 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 161 user | 115 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

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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Top Rated Movies #250 | 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?


The film wasn't released in Spain until 1981 because of moral censorship. 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 »


Marcello Rubini: [to Emma] A man who agrees to live like this is a finished man, he's nothing but a worm! I don't believe in your aggressive, sticky, maternal love! I don't want it, I have no use for it! This isn't love, it's brutalization!
See more »


Featured in Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember (1997) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Stunning Fellini and Mastroianni
15 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Long, episodic film by Federico Fellini about the conceits and facades of life: fame, intellect, sex, friendship, despair, innocence, etc.

Marcello Mastroianni is perfect as the shallow tabloid reporter who joyfully follows around Rome a blonde movie star from Sweden (Anita Ekberg) as she prowls around the city's bars and bistros. He is also having an affair with a woman (Anouk Aimee) while his girl friend (Yvonne Furnaux) seems to be going nuts.

But as Marcello moves through the city following the movie star, the miracle of the virgin, a few parties, etc. we see that his life is very empty because the things he reports on are meaningless drivel. We see that fame and fortune and the trappings of success are meaningless.

Marcello starts to realize that the movie star is a vapid airhead, the miracles are a sham, and his friend's (who seemed quite happily married) ghastly murder and suicide show the futility of life itself.

The Fellini themes are common to many of his films, but what makes La Dolce Vita so memorable are the cynical tone, the Nina Rota music, and the string of terrific visual images.

The opening scene is of a helicopter hauling a gilded plaster statue through the air across Rome. The flying saint is a bizarre image but serves to set up the movies which is all about images and events that are never what they seem to be.

Notable are the scenes of statuesque Ekberg in that terrific strapless black dress with the voluminous skirts as she swishes around dancing and eventually wading through a city fountain. The party scenes are also notable. The first because of the intolerable intellectuals who sits around and talk and talk but never do anything. The last party has the indelible image of Mastroianni "riding" a drunken blonde woman as though she were a horse. The final image of the giant dead fish is quite unsettling as it symbolizes their bloated lives.

Fellini is brilliant in filling scenes with odd people as extras, usually hideously dressed or wearing ugly glasses. The "gallery" of people who inhabit the city is one of grotesques, vapid fashion slaves, the rich, hangers on, etc.

A long film, but highly recommended and very memorable.

33 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is Nico in this movie? pattijane-55226
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poor movie omar_sy
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