7.2/10
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21 user 28 critic

The White Sheik (1952)

Lo sceicco bianco (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 25 April 1956 (USA)
Trailer
1:41 | Trailer
During a day in their honeymoon, a couple is separated by the city's lust and the desires it produces.

Director:

Federico Fellini

Writers:

Michelangelo Antonioni (story) (as M. Antonioni), Federico Fellini (story) (as F. Fellini) | 4 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alberto Sordi ... Fernando Rivoli - lo sceicco bianco
Brunella Bovo Brunella Bovo ... Wanda Giardino Cavalli
Leopoldo Trieste ... Ivan Cavalli
Giulietta Masina ... Cabiria - La prostituta
Ernesto Almirante Ernesto Almirante ... Dottore Fortuna - il regista del fotoromanzo
Lilia Landi Lilia Landi ... Felga - La zingara del fotoromanzo
Fanny Marchiò Fanny Marchiò ... Marilena Alba Vellardi
Gina Mascetti Gina Mascetti ... Aida Rivoli - La moglie di Fernando
Jole Silvani Jole Silvani ... Collega di Cabiria
Enzo Maggio Enzo Maggio ... Furio
Anna Primula Anna Primula
Mimo Billi Mimo Billi ... Man on the beach
Armando Libianchi Armando Libianchi
Ugo Attanasio Ugo Attanasio ... Uncle of Ivan
Giulio Moreschi Giulio Moreschi ... Portiere d'albergo
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Storyline

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 Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

italy | newlywed | honeymoon | boat | sword | See All (22) »

Taglines:

Incredibly Sweet and Charming Film! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

25 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The White Sheik See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

OFI, P.D.C. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has a 100% rating based on 11 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »

Quotes

Maid: If you want to take a bath, we'll need half an hour's warning.
Wanda Giardino Cavalli: Oh, yes!
Ivan Cavalli: A hot bath?
Maid: Naturally.
Ivan Cavalli: Is there a surcharge?
Maid: Two hundred lire.
Ivan Cavalli: 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?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema forever - Capolavori salvati (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A rare combination of high comedy and true (though comical) suspense. A real gem.
30 June 2003 | by guancheSee all my reviews

The protagonist is a stuffy little bureaucrat from a small town arriving for his honeymoon in Rome with his very sheltered (only a bit more than himself) young bride. He has few romantic thoughts on his mind. His main concern is a meeting with his uncle, a minor official at the Vatican, who has arranged an audience with the Pope.

While the jerk is taking a nap, his bride plots a momentary escape to fulfill her one wild fantasy---A meeting with the "White Sheik" a hero of the "frumetti"---a sort of trashy photographic comic book popular in 50s Italy---to whom she has sent red hot fan mail. She learns that the studio is only a few blocks from the hotel and resolves to meet her secret love for just a minute and get back to the hotel in time. Through a comedy of errors she is accidentally "abducted" to a shooting session where she learns to be careful about what she wishes for. Meanwhile, her husband is desperately searching for her and coming up with all kinds of frantic excuses to his family for her absence. I won't describe the movie any further for the benefit of those who wish to see it.

A very effective comedy with plenty of innuendo for adults and even some slapstick and sight gags. Loads of laughs for young and old. A very sweet story that nevertheless contains some of the surrealistic elements of Fellini's later work. If possible, get the subtitled version. The Italian language enhances the comical effect. A real gem.


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