6.9/10
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21 user 47 critic

Fedora (1978)

Down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler attempts to lure Fedora, a famous but reclusive film actress, out of retirement.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Miss Balfour
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...
Young Barry
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...
Himself (as Micheal York)
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Count Sobryanski
...
Kritos
...
Newscaster
Jacques Maury ...
Head Usher
Christine Mueller ...
Young Antonia
...
Nurse
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Storyline

Down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler attempts to lure Fedora, a famous but reclusive film actress, out of retirement.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Youth had been a habit of hers for so long that she could not part with it.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

13 September 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Федора  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,727,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,200,000, 31 December 1979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After finishing this film, Billy Wilder would direct only one more picture; the poorly received Buddy Buddy (1981) starting Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. See more »

Goofs

When Doctor Vando and Dutch meet in the bar at approximately 30 minutes into the film, there is a closeup of Vando's earring. At the end of the scene as Doctor Vando leaves the bar (approximately 34 minutes), Vando points at his earring. This time, the earring is considerably thinner and smaller. See more »

Quotes

Barry Detweiler: [bemoaning the state of 1970's Hollywood to The Countess] It's a whole different business now. The kids with beards have taken over. They don't need scripts, just give 'em a hand-held camera with a zoom lens.
See more »

Connections

References Anna Karenina (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Cretan Wine Dance
(uncredited)
Music by Reg Owen
Berry Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
As Norma Desmond said, "The Pictures Got Small
29 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

William Holden made his fourth and final film for Billy Wilder who he always considered his lucky director. With such films as Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, and Sabrina to their credit who wouldn't consider that lucky? Fedora doesn't quite belong in the same category as those others from the golden years of Wilder and Holden. Still it's an interesting film to watch and you can never make a visually bad film in the Grecian Isles.

Holden plays Barry Detweiler an interesting older variation on Joe Gillis from Sunset Boulevard. Imagine if Gillis had avoided Norma Desmond's bullets and had gone on to a great film career and you have Barry Detweiler.

But the digs that Norma Desmond had in Sunset Boulevard compare badly to the splendor of the regal exile that movie legend Fedora has on the Grecian isle of Korfu. It's been a mystery how Fedora has managed to appear eternally young.

Back in the day Holden had a fling with Fedora and he's played here as a young man by Stephen Collins. Hoping to cash in on a quick roll on the beach from the Fifties, Holden has a script for a new version of Anna Karenina. After much scheming he does get into see Fedora, played by young Marte Keller.

Unfortunately some intriguing things keep bringing Holden back and in the end he does uncover the secret of Fedora's eternal youth. Let's say it was something not available to Norma Desmond.

Best performance in the film for me is Jose Ferrer, a quack plastic surgeon who has attached himself to Fedora as part of her entourage. Ferrer steals every scene he's in, that man was never bad in anything he did.

Maybe Fedora would have been a classic if Marlene Dietrich had come back to play the part of the old countess that Hildegard Knef did and Faye Dunaway had played Fedora. Personally I think the part of the countess was too close to home for Dietrich, but Wilder definitely wanted her.

What a film that would have been.


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