23 user 4 critic

The Appointment (1969)

The lawyer Federico Fendi has reasons to believe that his wife Carla in secret is Rome's highest paid prostitute.


Sidney Lumet


Antonio Leonviola (story) (as Leonviola), James Salter (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Omar Sharif ... Frederico Fendi
Anouk Aimée ... Carla
Didi Perego Didi Perego ... Nani de Marchis
Fausto Tozzi ... Renzo
Gigi Proietti ... Fabre (as Luigi Proietti)
Paola Barbara ... Mother
Inna Alexeievna Inna Alexeievna ... Old Woman on Train (as Inna Alexeieff)
Ennio Balbo Ennio Balbo ... Ugo Perino
Daniela Calvino Daniela Calvino
Ermelinda De Felice Ermelinda De Felice ... Fishmonger's Wife (as Linda De Felice)
Angelo Infanti Angelo Infanti ... Antonio
Serena Michelotti Serena Michelotti ... Lucia
Monica Pardo Monica Pardo ... Olghina
Rodolfo Valadier Rodolfo Valadier
Lotte Lenya ... Emma Valadier


Frederico Fendi, a Rome-based lawyer, is not totally fulfilled despite his professional success, as he is still single and lives with his mother, these issues which he contemplates more and more as he reaches middle age. Things have the potential to change when he falls in love at first sight with a woman he spots on the street. Those dreams are dashed when he learns the woman, Carla, is engaged to Renzo, a friend of his from school. However, Renzo, without telling Carla the reason, breaks off the engagement when he suspects that in addition to her job as a model at a fashion house, that she works as a high priced prostitute. Regardless, Frederico, still obsessed with her, starts to court her despite these suspicions about her which he also has. Frederico's love for her wavering with shame for having these feelings about a prostitute lead to he trying to find out definitively if she really is a prostitute in setting up an appointment with her through the discrete madame, antiques ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Michel Legrand composed the first score for this film, but it was rejected in favor of a score by John Barry, aided by Don Walker. When it was first aired on U.S. television, the CBS network had Barry and Walker's score replaced with a completely new score by Stu Phillips. See more »


Old Woman on Train: I am not old. I am not old. I am just lived for a long time.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was not released theatrically in the U.S., but was aired on CBS at 11:30 p.m. on July 20, 1972, in a re-edited, shorter version, with a new score by 'Stu Phillips (I)'. See more »


Referenced in By Sidney Lumet (2015) See more »

User Reviews

"Have you ever been in love?" ... "That's a silly question."
12 October 2009 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Buttoned-up divorce lawyer in Italy, still living part-time with Mom, spies a smoky beauty on the streets just outside of Gucci, cuing composer John Barry to drum up an intensely romantic theme in the background. These two are obviously destined to meet--but she may have an impure past which prevents well-intentioned men from marrying her. Movies such as "The Appointment" are easy targets for critics looking for something to ridicule. By natural law, most conversations between budding lovers are silly, and here (when Omar Sharif explains the mating habits of turtles to an amused Anouk Aimée) you can almost hear the cackling from the balcony. The stars make for a terrifically photogenic couple, and the Italian backgrounds are ravishing, but the central theme of romantic obsession, possessiveness, and destructive jealousy is so intensely drawn that it may elicit giggles from viewers instead of emotion. Omar Sharif gives his standard wet-eyed performance, yet this is an unusually complex man--not a replay of Zhivago--and Sharif captures the nervously boyish tics and overeager longings of the character quite ably. Similarly, the material is an unusual change-of-pace for the director, Sidney Lumet (in uncharacteristically subdued spirits); Lumet pulls off a few audacious moments here, however some of his attributes (such as an elaborate helicopter shot of the lovers in a grassy field) call attention to themselves for no other reason than to be artsy. The slow, steady pacing may turn distracted viewers off, yet this is an oddly beguiling cinematic experience: fantastic, unsentimental actually, and not so removed from the truth. Lumet's heart wants to flutter in the winds, yet he keeps his feet on the ground, resulting in a thoughtful downer. *** from ****

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English | Italian

Release Date:

23 May 1969 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Appointment See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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