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Le Notti Bianche (1957)

Le notti bianche (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 28 May 1961 (USA)
A humble clerk courts a woman who night after night awaits for the return of her lover.

Director:

Luchino Visconti

Writers:

Fyodor Dostoevsky (novel) (as Fedor Dostoevskij), Suso Cecchi D'Amico (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maria Schell ... Natalia
Marcello Mastroianni ... Mario
Jean Marais ... L'inquilino
Marcella Rovena Marcella Rovena ... La padrona della pensione
Maria Zanoli Maria Zanoli ... La domestica (as Maria Zanolli)
Elena Fancera Elena Fancera ... La cassiera
Lanfranco Ceccarelli Lanfranco Ceccarelli ... Un coinvolto nella rissa (as Lanfranco Ceccarelli)
Angelo Galassi Angelo Galassi ... Un coinvolto nella rissa
Renato Terra Renato Terra ... Un coinvolto nella rissa
Corrado Pani ... Un giovinastro
Dirk Sanders Dirk Sanders ... Il ballerino (as Dick Sanders)
Clara Calamai ... La prostituta
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Storyline

A love triangle, the past invades the present. Mario, a shy man new in Livorno, chats up a crying woman on a bridge. She's Natalia, waiting for a lover gone for a year who promised to return. For three nights, Mario accompanies Natalia, assists her, distracts her, dances with her. He falls in love with her. Can he pull Natalia into his arms, away from the past and from love for a man who will probably never return? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the story by Feodor Dostoyevsky

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

28 May 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Notti Bianche See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #296. See more »

Quotes

Mario: Just think. The whole city is asleep. They don't know a thing. Soon they'll start to wake up. They'll open their windows and say...
Natalia: What a lovely day.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Les enfants jouent à la Russie (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Thirteen Women
Written by Dicky Thompson (as Thomson), Gadda and Lidianni
Decca Records Inc. New York U.S.A.
Performed by Bill Haley and the Comets (as Bill Haley and His Comets)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful fairy tale from Visconti.
28 June 2004 | by Ben_CheshireSee all my reviews

A mythic, Venice-like city is an appropriate backdrop for a film which must have greatly offended European critics at the time who had thought of Visconti as one of the pioneers of the new realism in Italian Cinema (and indeed with Ossessione and La Terra Trema, he was!). But with this film Visconti seems to have changed his idea of what he wants in a film: instead of the pursuance of realism at all costs, we have a dream-like fairy tale about fairy tales.

Mario (Marcello Mastroianni) meets Natalia (Maria Schnell) one night, and is entranced. But as they begin to talk, over a couple of nights, he falls in love with her, and realises that she is already in love with another man. Maria is obsessed with a fairy-tale man (Jean Cocteau's leading man Jean Marais), who up and left her a year ago without explanation and said he would return in a year, and if she still loved him, he would be there for her.

This film is evocative and beautiful - i'd love to see it in a clean theatrical print - especially the snow scenes at the end.

Its a very satisfying cinema experience, and one of Visconti's most beautiful films. 8/10.

Highlights: the dancing scene! Snow scenes are beautiful, but the dancing scene stands head and shoulders above the rest of the movie. Marcello is shy and introverted - he is sitting in a night club with dreamy Natalia. When couples start getting up and busting some very cool moves to Bill Haley and the Comets' Thirteen Women, Mario becomes nervous and starts talking to her about himself, talking around the fact that he's a shy person and doesn't like dancing and physical things... he likes dreaming, solitude... But when he sees how interested Natalia is by another man pulling some mean dance moves, things change. Great scene.


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