6.9/10
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24 user 52 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:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Billy Wilder (screenplay), I.A.L. Diamond (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Holden ... Barry Detweiler
Marthe Keller ... Fedora
Hildegard Knef ... The Countess
José Ferrer ... Doctor Vando
Frances Sternhagen ... Miss Balfour
Mario Adorf ... Hotel Manager
Stephen Collins ... Young Barry
Henry Fonda ... President of the Academy
Michael York ... Himself (as Micheal York)
Hans Jaray ... Count Sobryanski
Gottfried John ... Kritos
Arlene Francis ... Newscaster
Jacques Maury Jacques Maury ... Head Usher
Christine Mueller Christine Mueller ... Young Antonia
Ellen Schwiers ... 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | West Germany

Language:

English | Greek | French

Release Date:

13 September 1978 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Fedora See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,727,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character and career of Fedora in the original Tom Tryon short story is based on elements from the lives and careers of Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Pola Negri, Olga Tschechowa, and Elfi von Dassanowsky. The Hungarian-accented director of the film "Leda and the Swan" in Dutch's letter-writing flashback is modeled after Michael Curtiz. See more »

Goofs

At minute 32, when Dr. Vando is shown the film script, he reaches for his reading glasses and reads the title. He shouldn't have to use the glasses because as we have seen before the title is printed in very large characters. See more »

Quotes

Barry Detweiler: [looking at the corpse of Fedora] They had done a good job on her considering the messy way her life had ended.
See more »


Soundtracks

Mataranga
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Burdson (i.e. Gerhard Narholz)
Sonoton-Musikverlag
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unjustly overlooked
22 September 2002 | by Dave GodinSee all my reviews

It puzzles me why this film appears to have been so forgotten and neglected because I find it richly entertaining and, like so much of Wilder's work, it shows an abiding, (although not uncritical), love / hate of Hollywood and all it represented. Wilder has no illusions about the Monster Hollywood could be in its heyday when it created an almost parallel universe which consisted of those on the inside the industry, and the rest of us who paid homage at the box-office. Both parties were almost entirely oblivious of the reality of life as experienced by each other.

FEDORA is much more bitter-sweet than SUNSET BLVD., (his other film with which it is natural to compare it, and of course the presence of William Holden in both makes this even more compelling), but here we see people who, having made a pact with the devil of Hollywood fame and fortune, find it is a two edged sword that keeps them in the service of its mores and values forever, even though the effort of doing so nearly makes them die from exhaustion. Death or permanent seclusion is the only way to preserve a legend's immortality.

Beautifully structured, and with some excellent dialogue, all the cast acquit themselves with credit, and I find it a fascinating and valuable glimpse into a world that has now gone forever and which is never, ever likely to return. Perhaps more reflective and introspective than we expect a Billy Wilder film to be, but all the more richly satisfying for it. Highly recommended.


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