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Fellini's Casanova (1976)

Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (original title)
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 ?



(autobiography: "Histoire de ma vie"), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cicely Browne ...
Madame D'Urfé
Carmen Scarpitta ...
Madame Charpillon
Clara Algranti ...
Daniela Gatti ...
Olimpia Carlisi ...
Margareth Clémenti ...
Sister Maddalena (as Margareth Clementi)
Mario Cencelli ...
Silvana Fusacchia ...
Isabella's sister
Leda Lojodice ...
Rosalba the Mechanical doll (as Adele Angela Lojodice)
Sandra Elaine Allen ...
Angelina the Giantess
Clarissa Mary Roll ...
Anna Maria
Luigi Zerbinati ...
Alessandra Belloni ...


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 ? Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His First English Language Film See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

11 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fellini's Casanova  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The sea in the film was created from cut-up black trash-bags; Federico Fellini wanted to put high emphasis on the plasticity of Casanova's life and journey. See more »


Giacomo Casanova: A man who never speaks ill of women does not love them. For to understand them and to love them one must suffer at their hands. Then and only then can you find happiness at the lips of your beloved.
See more »


Featured in E il Casanova di Fellini? (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

a reverie of an empty life
15 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Fellini's cinematic vitality was undeniably on the ebb in his later years of filmmaking, and when a director's name can blatantly headline in the film's title, a common demonstration is that he has the autocratic power over his work without any compromise, so it is a good sign for the director's devotees, but sometimes, it is also prone to backfire often due to the auteur's unbridled ego. And FELLINI'S CASANOVA is an exemplar of both cases.

Fellini is quite antipathetic towards his center figure, the Venetian gadabout Giacomo Casanova, maybe partly originates from jealousy, it is a man who is an emblem of libidinal licentiousness (with women), any heterosexual man has the right to be envious.

So loosely based on Casanova's autobiography HISTOIRE DE MA VIE, Fellini unleashes his uncurbed visual creativity to conjure up a series of spectacular mise-en-scène with a hankering for irony and symbolism, often in the form of a theatric piece. The opening gambit, a Carnival in Venice, is onerously undertook to be stupendous and eye-opening, and it is really hard to resist the enthralling allure in Casanova's each and every episode, sex activity is presumably the norm in it, but his on-screen virility brings some visual fatigue pretty soon (due to an R rating) and his action fades into mechanical repetition (certainly, the change of head-wear is a great diversion). After all, the avant-garde production design (using plastic bags to imitate a choppy sea), the 18th Century exquisite art decoration (whether accurate or not), the outlandish period costumes and flamboyant make-up (especially during the lavish banquet set) usurp the crown as the legitimate attention-grabber. With garnishment like Nino Rota's stirring score and literature reference such as Tonino Guerra's La Grande Mouna, 2 hour and 35 minutes is not that long at all.

It is also a career-defining role for Donald Sutherland, although never really being heralded (so does his lengthy and unceasing career), under some visage alteration (a fake nose and a shaved head) his Casanova is not devilishly handsome, may not even physically resemble his character, but he exerts his devotion thoroughly through his bulged eyes, which fixate on his preys with torrid resolution, simultaneously sinister and passionate. Fellini is in no mood to give Casanova a hagiography treatment, so chiefly, Sutherland's effort has been unfairly debased to ridicule and grandstanding, Casanova is much more than a womanizer who is unable to love, willfully, Fellini refuses to disclose the other side of his life, such as a bold adventurer and a luminous writer.

Female objects are never the focal point of the film, they are the objects of desire in the menagerie for our hormone-driven protagonist to conquer with intercourse, only the Angelina the giantess (Sandra Elaine Allen) and Rosalba the mechanical doll (Leda Lojodice) shed dim light on certain pathos for the fate of Casanova besides their eye-popping presence.

Altogether, FELLINI'S CASANOVA is majestic on scale, burlesque on appearance, biased in its stance, but never an awkward anomaly in Fellin's absurdist cannon.

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