13 user 9 critic

Sandra (1965)

Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa... (original title)
Sandra returns to her childhood village to take care of family business, but her childhood memories and secrets soon overcome her.


Luchino Visconti


Suso Cecchi D'Amico (story and screenplay), Enrico Medioli (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Claudia Cardinale ... Sandra / wife
Jean Sorel ... Gianni / husband
Michael Craig ... Andrew / Sandra's brother
Renzo Ricci ... Antonio Gilardini
Fred Williams ... Pietro Formari
Amalia Troiani Amalia Troiani ... Fosca / la domestica
Marie Bell ... Corinna Gilardini / madre di Sandra e Gianni
Vittorio Manfrino Vittorio Manfrino
Giovanni Rovini Giovanni Rovini
Renato Moretti Renato Moretti
Paola Piscini Paola Piscini
Isacco Politi Isacco Politi


Sandra comes back to Volterra, in Tuscany, the little town where she spent her childhood. She is with her American husband, Andrew. She wishes to pay homage to her father who died in Auschwitz where she was still a little child. In Volterra, Andrew meets for the first time Gianni, Sandra's brother. He soon realizes that Sandra and Gianni have a secret since their childhood. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SANDRA is EXCITEMENT! What SANDRA does is ASTONISHING! (original USA print ad-USA) See more »


Drama | Mystery | War


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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 45271 delivered on 15-6-1965. See more »


Corinna Gilardini, madre di Sandra e Gianni: Two monsters, monsters, my children. Yes, my children. He was always hiding there behind the door. What am I to say? Are my children monsters? My enemies?
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Referenced in Luchino Visconti (1999) See more »


Una rotonda sul mare
Written by Falemi
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User Reviews

I'm not a Freudian, Electra!
5 December 2006 | by hypsipetesSee all my reviews

As they say, the characters in this movie are based on the Greek mythology, namely, the killed father (Agamemnon), his wife (Clytemnestra), her new husband (Aegisthus), the daughter, Sandra (Electra), the son, Gianni (Olestes) and ex-boyfriend of the daughter, Pietro (now he is a doctor but he comes form a tenant farmer family like in the original), and the Trojan War is replaced with the Second World War ... the story line is difficultly categorized into a direct adaptation like Mourning Becomes Electra (an O'Neill's play, made into a movie by Dudley Nichols 1947), however, it follows the traditions of the Greek tragedies : the past and the blood dominate and determine every destiny of the characters.

Here, Andrew (the outsider) is an interesting character. Innocently, (without receiving an oracle!), he analyzes 'the curse' of the dead father rationally, objectively and very ordinarily in vain and opens Pandora's box with his 'good' foolhardiness. Besides, he judges Gianni according to 'his' ethics as a total stranger and raises his fist against his brother-in-law. And still he is never involved in the mythology and should walk away forever. Is he an incarnation of our prosaic civilization of today? The establishment that he is an American (who has a camera!) could be an irony in Visconti's own way?

By the way, recently I watched Desperate Housewives, season 2, Episode 9, "That's Good, That's Bad", and suddenly I remembered the scene in which Gianni takes out the pills and threatens Sandra : George who took the pills menaces Bree ... (so I'm writing this comment now, but I know it's an exaggerated analogy, anyway....)

Jean Sorel is heavenly beautiful. The scene in the water tower takes my breath away. César Franck's music suits the aestheticism of the director, too.

If you are an amateur of Visconti's works, you might know this one doesn't end just as in the original script. Do you think Sandra flies across the ocean to join Andrew or she buries herself in her destined blood there eternally?

Including Mourning Becomes Electra, it could be interesting to refer to also : 1. Les Enfants terribles / Jean-Pierre Melville (1950) 2. Höhenfeuer /Fredi M. Murer (1985) 3. Jeux d'artifices / Virginie Thévenet (1987) 4. La Banyera / Jesús Garay (1989 / fantastic!)

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Italian | Hebrew | French | English

Release Date:

16 January 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sandra of a Thousand Delights See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vides Cinematografica See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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