8.0/10
65,743
199 user 158 critic

The Sweet Life (1960)

La dolce vita (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 19 April 1961 (USA)
Trailer
1:35 | Trailer
A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director:

Federico Fellini

Writers:

Federico Fellini (story), Ennio Flaiano (story) | 5 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,782 ( 306)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Mastroianni ... Marcello Rubini
Anita Ekberg ... Sylvia
Anouk Aimée ... Maddalena (as Anouk Aimee)
Yvonne Furneaux ... Emma
Magali Noël ... Fanny (as Magali Noel)
Alain Cuny ... Steiner
Annibale Ninchi ... Il padre di Marcello
Walter Santesso ... Paparazzo
Valeria Ciangottini Valeria Ciangottini ... Paola
Riccardo Garrone ... Riccardo
Evelyn Stewart ... Debuttante dell'anno (as Ida Galli)
Audrey McDonald Audrey McDonald ... Jane
Polidor ... Pagliaccio
Alain Dijon Alain Dijon ... Frankie Stout
Mino Doro ... Amante di Nadia
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Storyline

Rome, 1959/60. Marcello Rubini (played by Marcello Mastroianni) is a writer and journalist, the worst kind of journalist - a tabloid journalist, or paparazzo. His job involves him trying to catch celebrities in compromising or embarrassing situations. He tends to get quite close to his subject, especially when they're beautiful women. Two such subjects are a local heiress, Maddalena (Anouk Aimee), and a Swedish superstar-actress, Sylvia (Anita Ekberg), both of whom he has affairs with. This is despite being engaged to Emma (Yvonne Furneaux), a rather clingy, insecure, nagging, melodramatic woman. Despite his extravagant, pleasure-filled lifestyle, he is wondering if maybe a simpler life wouldn't be better. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Sweet Life See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film wasn't released in Spain until 1981 because of moral censorship. See more »

Goofs

When Marcello is typewriting in a restaurant on the beach and talking to the blonde young girl, the bar of the typewriter is centered on the machine. In the next take, it is displaced to the left of the typewriter. See more »

Quotes

Travestito: By 1965 there'll be total depravity. How squalid everything will be.
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Alternate Versions

In the original American release, distributed by American International Pictures, the titles open with the AIP logo and appear over a shot of the sky with clouds. In the current release on DVD - and as shown on TCM - the title sequence is over a black background. When originally released, censors in several countries trimmed certain scenes, including the orgy near the end of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: The Kids Stay in the Picture (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Performed by Alain Cuny
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User Reviews

 
Stunning Fellini and Mastroianni
15 April 2007 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Long, episodic film by Federico Fellini about the conceits and facades of life: fame, intellect, sex, friendship, despair, innocence, etc.

Marcello Mastroianni is perfect as the shallow tabloid reporter who joyfully follows around Rome a blonde movie star from Sweden (Anita Ekberg) as she prowls around the city's bars and bistros. He is also having an affair with a woman (Anouk Aimee) while his girl friend (Yvonne Furnaux) seems to be going nuts.

But as Marcello moves through the city following the movie star, the miracle of the virgin, a few parties, etc. we see that his life is very empty because the things he reports on are meaningless drivel. We see that fame and fortune and the trappings of success are meaningless.

Marcello starts to realize that the movie star is a vapid airhead, the miracles are a sham, and his friend's (who seemed quite happily married) ghastly murder and suicide show the futility of life itself.

The Fellini themes are common to many of his films, but what makes La Dolce Vita so memorable are the cynical tone, the Nina Rota music, and the string of terrific visual images.

The opening scene is of a helicopter hauling a gilded plaster statue through the air across Rome. The flying saint is a bizarre image but serves to set up the movies which is all about images and events that are never what they seem to be.

Notable are the scenes of statuesque Ekberg in that terrific strapless black dress with the voluminous skirts as she swishes around dancing and eventually wading through a city fountain. The party scenes are also notable. The first because of the intolerable intellectuals who sits around and talk and talk but never do anything. The last party has the indelible image of Mastroianni "riding" a drunken blonde woman as though she were a horse. The final image of the giant dead fish is quite unsettling as it symbolizes their bloated lives.

Fellini is brilliant in filling scenes with odd people as extras, usually hideously dressed or wearing ugly glasses. The "gallery" of people who inhabit the city is one of grotesques, vapid fashion slaves, the rich, hangers on, etc.

A long film, but highly recommended and very memorable.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | English | French | German

Release Date:

19 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La Dolce Vita See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$191,424
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere) | (re-release) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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