Six separate episodes: would-be suicides discuss their despair. A provincial dance hall. An investigative reporter posing as a husband-to-be. A young unwed mother. Girl-watching techniques of Italian men. A glimpse into prostitution.
In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers.
Moments after the newlywed couple of the fastidious office employee Ivan and his young and pure wife Wanda arrive at a hotel in Rome for their honeymoon and a formal meeting with Ivan's uncle, the bride decides to sneak out of the room and leave unnoticed. Wanda, obsessed with the masculine "White Sheik", her idol and hero of her favourite romantic photonovel, and tempted by his fiery invitation, she decides to actually meet him in person just to show him a painting she made. Without a doubt, 20-year-old Wanda risks a lot, however, she needs to see him in all of his glory. Instead, she will reluctantly join the cast of the photonovel, she will even get a small part too, she will be seduced by the arrogant protagonist and ultimately, confused and disappointed, she will inevitably realise that she is all alone and so far away from Rome and her husband. Perplexed by Wanda's strange disappearance and unable to disclose the news to his family, Ivan will seek her in the streets of Rome ...Written by
Some of the score was recycled in La Strada (1954) See more »
If you want to take a bath, we'll need half an hour's warning.
Wanda Giardino Cavalli:
A hot bath?
Is there a surcharge?
Two hundred lire.
Yes! There is time, my dear. It's 9:00 now. Aunt and Uncle will be here at 10:30. Perfect. A hot bath for my wife! Perhaps tomorrow I'll take one myself. Okay?
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Sceicco bianco Lo representing Fellini's earlier work hints at the great talent that Fellini would become.
When most people think of Fellini, they think of his films La Strada or La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2, but the director's vast catalogue of films is worth checking out just to see a genius at work. Fellini's early and little known film, The White Sheik proves to be a cinematic gem that not only hints at the director Fellini would become, but also stands on its own as an achievement.
Part soap opera (read Mexican soaps) and part romantic comedy, The White Sheik leans towards surrealism and comic book camp (over 30 years before Kevin Smith created DOGMA). The premise of the story is that two newly weds, Vanda Giardino (Bruenella Boro) and her husband Ivan Cavelli (Leopoldo Trieste) honeymoon in Rome where Ivan hopes to make a good impression of his relations. Unfortunately for him, his wife sneaks out of the hotel room so that she can meet her comic book hero, The White Sheik (Alberto Sordi.
Shot in black and white, this film is gorgeous and surreal. The actors on the set of The White Sheik come across as gypsy or circus like. They sport tough attitudes and this makes a nice contrast to Vanda's wide-eyed innocence.
The White Sheik is technically Fellini's second film, but the first one in which he did not share directing credits. However, he did share writing credits with Michelangelo Antonioni, Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli. If you are a fan of La Strada and Nights of Cabiria then you must see this film.
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