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Fedora (1978)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 September 1978 (France)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,970 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 26 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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Writers:

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

Fedora (1978) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Director: Billy Wilder
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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 (as Micheal York)
Hans Jaray ...
Count Sobryanski
...
Kritos
...
Newscaster
Jacques Maury ...
Head Usher
Christine Mueller ...
Young Antonia
Ellen Schwiers ...
Nurse
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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

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:

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 was the fourth and final time that actor William Holden worked with writer-director Billy Wilder. Their previous films together included Sunset Blvd. (1950); Stalag 17 (1953) for which Holden won the Academy Award Best Actor Oscar and Sabrina (1954). This movie also marks the first time that Holden worked with Wilder since Sabrina (1954), a gap of twenty-four years. All of their previous movies together had been made during the 1950s. Moreover, Holden's character in this movie is similar to his in Sunset Blvd. (1950). 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 '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 »


Soundtracks

Badner Madln
(uncredited)
Music by Karl Komzák
Arranged by Miklós Rózsa
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User Reviews

 
When the Pictures Became Small
20 October 2014 | by (Northern Ireland) – See all my reviews

Fedora is one of the most bizarre films I've ever seen to say the least. At points I almost laughing at the movie's plot twist, yet the more bizarre and highly improbable the movie became, the more I found myself getting engaged in the story, waiting in eager anticipation to find out what will happen next with those oh so joyous "I did not see that coming" moments. The film's highly implausible plot manages to draw the thin line between completely absurd but never feeling like a parody.

The character of Fedora herself is a reclusive movie star who goes to extreme lengths in order to stay "on top" and retain her eternal youth to the point which even Norma Desmond would consider crazy. Early during the film I suspected Greta Garbo to be a possible source of inspiration for the character of Fedora (whom Wilder always had great admiration for), but as the plot progressed I thought to myself "ok even Garbo was never this nuts".

One of Fedora's other intriguing aspects is its critique of New Hollywood and how times have changed since Hollywood's golden era came to pass. Fedora is the only film I've seen which displays a harsh attitude towards New Hollywood with lines referring to Hollywood being taken over by bearded kids and the demise of glamorous movie stars of the past.

This is one of several aspects of Fedora which makes it a similar in a number of respects to what you could call its spiritual cousin, Sunset Boulevard; which itself commented upon what was lost when the silent era came to an end. I could go on making comparisons between the two films, from William Holden playing a Hollywood hack in both films to Michael York's role the in film being similar to the role Cecil B. Millie played in Sunset Boulevard.

I imagined by 1978 Wilder was far past his directing prime, not to mention after the 1950's he seemed to become content with only directing comedies; thus I'm surprised to consider Fedora as one of his greatest films and a return to the roots of his earlier work as a director.


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