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Fellini - Satyricon (1969)

A series of disjointed mythical tales set in first century Rome.

Director:

Federico Fellini

Writers:

Petronius (book), Federico Fellini (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Potter ... Encolpio
Hiram Keller ... Ascilto
Max Born ... Gitone
Salvo Randone ... Eumolpo
Mario Romagnoli ... Trimalcione (as Il Moro)
Magali Noël ... Fortunata
Capucine ... Trifena
Alain Cuny ... Lica
Fanfulla ... Vernacchio
Danika La Loggia ... Scintilla (as Danica la Loggia)
Giuseppe Sanvitale Giuseppe Sanvitale ... Abinna
Genius Genius ... Liberto arricchito
Lucia Bosé ... La matrona
Joseph Wheeler Joseph Wheeler ... Il suicida (as Joseph Weelher)
Hylette Adolphe ... La schiavetta
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Storyline

In first century Rome, two student friends, Encolpio and Ascilto, argue about ownership of the boy Gitone, divide their belongings and split up. The boy, allowed to choose who he goes with, chooses Ascilto. Only a sudden earthquake saves Encolpio from suicide. We follow Encolpio through a series of adventures, where he is eventually reunited with Ascilto, and which culminates in them helping a man kidnap a hermaphrodite demi-god from a temple. The god dies, and as punishment Encolpio becomes impotent. We then follow them in search of a cure. The film is loosely based on the book Satyricon by Gaius Petronius Arbiter, the "Arbiter of Elegance" in the court of Nero. The book has only survived in fragments, and the film reflects this by being very fragmentary itself, even stopping in mid-sentence. Written by Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rome. Before Christ. After Fellini. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | History

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | Latin

Release Date:

11 March 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fellini Satyricon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

United Artists paid more than $1 million for the distribution rights to Gian Luigi Polidoro's Satyricon (1969) to keep it off the market until after the release of this film. See more »

Goofs

In one version, Joseph Wheeler is credited as 'Joseph Weelher'. See more »

Quotes

Soldier at Tomb: They've stolen the hanged man! While I was with you, the thief's family took him away! I know what punishment I'll get... a horrible death. Why should I wait for it? I'd rather die by my own hands.
[pulls his sword out and is about to stab himself]
Wife of Ephesus: [stops him] No! No, my dear... To lose the two men in my life, one after the other, would be too much...
Wife of Ephesus: [looks at the corpse of her husband] Better to hang a dead husband than to lose a living lover.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Lebowski (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The Drums for the Niegpadouda Dance
From Anthology of Music of Black Africa
Recorded by Everest Records
Arranged by Bernard C. Salomon
Published by Arvon Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A free adaptation of Petronius
17 September 2009 | by bobsgrockSee all my reviews

Free is the word here in Fellini - Satyricon, adapted from the ancient book by Petronius that is considered to be the first novel ever written. However, only fragments remain, and Fellini made a wise choice in creating the film to move forward as the book does. The plot is told in episodes, where characters move from one scene to another without explanation, where things change and there really is no reason for anyone to do anything.

Yet, in that sense, Fellini captured what Ancient Rome was all about. These people are morally and spiritually hopeless; they feel life is so short that there is no reason to attempt to have what would be considered a "normal" life, so essentially anything goes. This mostly explains the ideas of rampant sexuality, human sacrifices and bloody violence as entertainment. These are the underworld elements of a civilization on the brink of destruction from the inside out, where life is cheap.

Despite this morbid subject, Fellini is able to create such a vivid and wild visual style, that it is arresting no matter what the actors are doing in the shot. His use of bright colors on sets and costumes creates a feeling of excitement and joy even if it is a disturbing sequence. I really cannot recommend anyone to watch it despite its cinematic beauty, but if you appreciate cinema as more than just entertainment perhaps it would be worth your time. I have heard this film called a masterpiece while others think its deplorable and depraved. It's actually both, but it is total Fellini.


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