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The White Sheik (1952)

Lo sceicco bianco (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 25 April 1956 (USA)
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 »
Edit

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

The character Cabiria from Nights of Cabiria (1957) played by Giulietta Masina appears in this film See more »

Quotes

Fernando Rivoli - lo sceicco bianco: I feel the same way when I'm on the water. A strange, melancholy joy takes over my entire being.
[Looks up]
Fernando Rivoli - lo sceicco bianco: A seagull! Dear little seagull. Dear little seagull. It's a joy that comes from remembering a previous life. Afterlife. Previous life or afterlife? Previous. Who knows who we were then, you and I? Perhaps I was a pirate and I bet you were a mermaid.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wild Man Blues (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very "un-Fellini" sort of film
6 September 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This was the first film Fellini directed on his own and it was among his best but most under-appreciated films. While it does not have the usual "Fellini look" (with odd looking supporting characters, unusual stories or unique style), the film is a definite winner--featuring a very cute story and some winning performances. Plus, like most of Fellini's films, the plot is pretty weird--and that I truly appreciate.

A young man and woman are married and come to Rome for their honeymoon. The very organized husband seems to have planned every last detail of the trip--scheduling almost every second of every day and allowing them no time alone or to even consummate their marriage. Instead of trying to get this seemingly inflexible man to bend, the young bride hopes to just slip away from the hotel VERY briefly to go meet her idol, the "White Sheik". Unbeknownst to the hubby, she is an avid reader of an adventure magazine that feature this fictional character--complete with photos and stories about his larger than life adventures and romance. And, she'd been writing him for some time and her only real desire in Rome was to spend just a brief moment with him. However, when she arrives at the office that publishes the magazine, the actor portraying him in the stories isn't there. But, the folks see she's a real fan and want to help her, so they tell her to get in the truck and go with the camera crew to the shoot. She only has a moment, but agrees--after all, he is her idol.

Well, one thing after another goes wrong and her brief excursion lasts more than a day! In the meantime, the new husband is panic-stricken but doesn't want to tell his uncle or his family--he's too embarrassed to tell them he's misplaced his wife! And, for the next day or so, he makes one excuse after another to explain why she isn't there to go on their fully packed itinerary! The story is very cute and charming,...plus it provides a few laughs. In many ways, it reminds me of the later film THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (where Mia Farrow is a devoted fan of a movie serial star and sees the same film again and again), but it is both more charming and ultimately has a better and more upbeat ending.

PS--I know this may make me sound like I am not "with it", but I really do prefer most of Fellini's earlier films and hate the "über strange" films from later in his career (such as SATYRICON). This is a wonderful film that is sure to please everyone--even those who don't think they like the films of Fellini.


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