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Fedora (1978)

7.0
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Reviews: 15 user | 20 critic

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

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(story), , 1 more credit »
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Title: Fedora (1978)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Doctor Vando
...
Miss Balfour
Mario Adorf ...
Corfu Hotel Manager
...
Young Barry
...
Himself - President of the Academy
...
Himself
Hans Jaray ...
Count Sobryanski
...
Kritos
...
Newscaster
Jacques Maury ...
Head Usher
Christine Mueller ...
Young Antonia
Ellen Schwiers ...
Nurse
Edit

Storyline

The former successful and famous Polish actress Fedora commits suicide at the Mortcerf Station, jumping off in front of a train. The broken Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler attends the funeral at her house in Paris and recalls that he might have caused her death. Two weeks ago, Dutch traveled to Greece Island of Corfu seeking Fedora out in the Vila Calypso, located in an isolated island owned by the bitter Countess Sobryanski. Fedora has been living an unsocial reclusive life for the last years in the villa with the countess, the plastic surgeon Doctor Vando and her assistant Miss Balfour, since she abandoned the set of a film that she was shooting in London with Michael York. Dutch brings the screenplay with a version of "Anna Karenina" to offer to Fedora, with the promise that investors would finance the film if Fedora accepts the lead role. Fedora, who is impressively young, is receptive to the offer, but the countess and the doctor tell that she is mentally unstable and ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

13 September 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Den gådefulde Fedora  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,727,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was going to premiere as a US tele-movie from Lorimar Productions screening on CBS but before the network could finalize the deal, United Artists picked up the movie for theatrical distribution. See more »

Quotes

Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler: [Last lines] Six weeks later the woman who called herself the Countess Sobryanski died peacefully on the island of Corfu. The news rated one short paragraph in the local paper. The electric blanket I sent her came back undelivered.
See more »

Connections

References Mister Roberts (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Tenderly
(uncredited)
Music by Walter Gross
Lyrics by Jack Lawrence
Recording sung by Nat 'King' Cole
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fetid Odora
28 December 2005 | by (Berlin) – See all my reviews

This late Billy Wilder flick, one in a series of European productions that were to close the curtain on his long-running career, is in a way as rancid as the smell surrounding the main character it portrays, a storyboard synthesis of several real-life movie stars ranging from Garbo to Dietrich. Drawing on biographical accounts of the secluded lives of geriatric Hollywood divas from the Golden Age of post-War cinema, Wilder clumsily attempts to weave in an intrigue, which never really takes off as it is hopelessly drowned in tiresome dialogues, seemingly endless takes, fatuously clichéd characterisations and across-the-board foul acting (with the notable exception of William Holden). Though the starting premise may sound appealing – a nostalgic glimpse on a waning period in the history of film replete with rumor-ridden accounts of the lives of the rich and famous – it falls miles short of a feature-length story. Wilder must have sensed this as he was going along, since he spends considerable time on paraphernalia and frighteningly lame side acts, the worst of which is undoubtedly Mario Adorf casting a shrewd Greek hotel manager, literally crumbling under a make-up that turns him into Manuel of the Fawlty Towers series – minus the slapstick. What could have been an insightful commentary on Wilder's own professional milieu, feeding on the filmmaker's unique experience, ended up as a sluggish conspiracy plot leading to an anticlimactic half-hour long resolve with a distinct TV feel to it. Film buffs should probably see it, because it shows where Old Hollywood went in the 1970s while a brat generation took over the studios and set an entirely different pace. Billy Wilder deserves credit for trying to find his own in this new environment, but Fedora is a somewhat dispiriting example of an aging cinéaste grappling with his own glorious past.


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