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La Dolce Vita (1960)

La dolce vita (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy , Drama | 19 April 1961 (USA)
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0:31 | Trailer

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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 »
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Popularity
3,615 ( 122)
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 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 Mino Doro ... Amante di Nadia
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Storyline

Journalist and man-about-town Marcello struggles to find his place in the world, torn between the allure of Rome's elite social scene and the stifling domesticity offered by his girlfriend, all the while searching for a way to become a serious writer. Written by Jeff Lewis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The world's most talked about movie today! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

Gross USA:

$19,516,000
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

It seems that term "paparazzo" was coined by Federico Fellini himself. Paparazzo means "sparrow" in one Italian dialect (in normal usage the Italian for "sparrow" is "passero"). Fellini explained that the photographers hopping and scurrying around celebrities reminded him of sparrows. See more »

Goofs

The aircraft which brings Sylvia to Rome is an Alitalia Vickers Viscount as it comes in to land, but is both a Douglas DC-7C and DC-6B when it is on the ground. See more »

Quotes

Steiner: Don't be like me. Salvation doesn't lie within four walls. I'm too serious to be a dilettante and too much a dabbler to be a professional. Even the most miserable life is better than a sheltered existence in an organized society where everything is calculated and perfected.
See more »

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 »


Soundtracks

Ready Teddy
(uncredited)
Written by John Marascalco and Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as Robert Blackwell)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Seductive but exhausting New Wave epic
23 July 2009 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

This movie is about a Roman journalist at the crossroads of his life but unable to move forward in any meaningful direction. He is a man trapped in his life of superficiality.

Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita is a very aesthetically beautiful film. The widescreen compositions are often outstanding. The crisp black and white photography is lit to perfection and a joy to behold. One of the factors that makes Italian cinema in general so appealing for me is the gorgeous natural light of that country, allied with the stylish decor and architecture; and in this film these elements are well in abundance. If nothing else, La Dolce Vita is a treat to the eyes. Style over substance is a term that could certainly also be applied to the denizens of LDV's Rome. We are introduced to an array of beautiful but shallow character's; from Marcello Mastroianni's gossip journalist, via Anita Ekberg's international film star or Nico's fashion model, everyone is beautiful on the surface but somewhat dead underneath. And perhaps this is a problem with the film in general; a three hour expose of shallow people is an exhausting experience.

The film is not plot-driven. It's episodic, divided into seven days in the life of a Roman gossip columnist. It's not always obvious what the point of certain events actually is. I found myself spending quite a lot of energy actually trying to actively understand the meaning of Marcello's experiences, and not always successfully I concede. But suffice to say that a very general reading of the film's message would be that it is about the superficiality of celebrity and the emptiness of much of modern urban life. And while a lot of it is still very relevant today – in particular the public's obsession with celebrity – it's not always clear what Fellini is trying to say. It's quite an obtuse film, with a fair amount of symbolic imagery and loaded dialogue. It's certainly serious cinema. Although I often found myself enjoying it most when it was less intellectual and more sensual, such as the wonderful iconic scene where Anita Ekberg takes a dip in the Fontana di Trevi. This justifiably famous sequence is the most purely cinematic moment in La Dolce Vita and, in my opinion, the film could have benefited from more scenes of such striking power punctuated through its three hour running time.

Overall, although I do admire this film, I find it too tiring and drawn out to love. It's very well acted and photographed, it's just a little unengaging and occasionally tedious. That said, it's one to seek out if you are at all interested in 60's New Wave cinema.


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