La dolce vita


2h 58m 1961

Brief Synopsis

A young writer gets initiated into the decadent lifestyle of Rome.

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Film Details

Also Known As
La douceur de vivre
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1961
Premiere Information
New York opening: 19 Apr 1961
Production Company
Gray Films; Pathé Cinéma; Riama Film
Distribution Company
American International Pictures; Astor Pictures
Country
France
Location
Cinecitta Studios, Rome, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 58m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

The citizens of Rome are startled by the sight of a huge statue of Christ being flown over the city by helicopter to the Vatican. Following in a second helicopter is Marcello Rubini, a journalist who, despite literary aspirations, earns his living writing gossip and scandal stories. In a nightclub, Marcello meets Maddalena, a jaded heiress. Together they pick up a prostitute and spend the night in the whore's room. Upon his return home at dawn, Marcello finds that his mistress, Emma, crushed by his perfidy, has attempted to poison herself. Her recovery assured, Marcello leaves Emma's side to cover the airport arrival of Sylvia Rank, a Hollywood starlet. Infatuated by the voluptuous blonde actress, Marcello accompanies her on a tour of the city, following her to St. Peter's Basilica, the Baths of Caracalla, and the Trevi fountain. The escapade ends violently, however, when Sylvia's fiancé, Robert, assaults Marcello. The reporter's next assignment is to cover a purported apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which two precocious children claim to have witnessed. The children's prevarication is exposed, and a sudden storm disperses the spectators. Later, Marcello's father visits him from the provinces but returns home when his son's lifestyle proves too strenuous for him. At a restaurant Marcello meets Paola, a young waitress whose provincial innocence appeals strongly to him. Marcello's assignments and adventures are punctuated by exhausting quarrels with Emma. The writer is further depressed when, following an evening of parties with aristocratic friends, he learns that Steiner, his wealthy and intellectual friend, has slain himself and his two children. Disillusioned, Marcello abandons himself to the pursuit of pleasure. The morning after an orgy at the seaside villa of the divorcée Nadia, Marcello and other guests roam through a forest to the beach, where a decomposing fish lies in the sand. As Marcello stares at its corpse, he sees Paola waving to him from across the canal; unable to understand what she is saying, he wanders off in the dawn to rejoin his friends.

Cast

Marcello Mastroianni

Marcello Rubini

Anita Ekberg

Sylvia

Anouk Aimée

Maddalena

Yvonne Furneaux

Emma

Magali Noël

Fanny

Alain Cuny

Steiner

Nadia Gray

Nadia

Lex Barker

Robert

Annibale Ninchi

Marcello's father

Walter Santesso

Paparazzo

Jacques Sernas

Matinee idol

Valeria Ciangottini

Paola

Alan Dijon

Frankie Stout

Renée Longarini

Signora Steiner

Polidor

Clown

Giulio Questi

Don Giulio

Cesarino Miceli Picardi

Irate man in nightclub

Adriana Moneta

Prostitute

Anna Maria Salerno

Her friend

Oscar Ghiglia

Gino Marturano

Their pimps

Leonardo Botta

Doctor

Harriet White

Sylvia's secretary

Carlo Di Maggio

Producer

Adriano Celentano

Rock-n-roll singer

Gio Staiano

Effeminate male

Archie Savage

Negro dancer

Giacomo Gabriello

Maddalena's father

Giovanna

Massimo Busetti

Lying children of the miracle

Rina Franchetti

Their mother

Aurelio Nardi

Their uncle

Alfredo Rizzo

TV director

Marianna Leibl

Yvonne's companion

Iris Tree

Poetess

Lilly Granado

Lucy

Gloria Jones

Gloria

Nico Otzak

Sophisticated prostitute

Vadim Wolkonsky

Prince Mascalchi

Audrey Mcdonald

Sonia

Rosemary Rennel Rodd

English medium

Ferdinando Brofferio

Maddalena's lover

Doris, Princess Of Monteroduni Pignatelli

Lady in white coat

Ida Galli

Debutante of the year

Loretta Ramaciotti

Woman in seance

Giulio Girola

Police commissioner

Mino Doro

Nadia's lover

Antonio Jacono

Carlo Musto

Transvestites

Tito Buzzo

Muscle man

Sandra Lee

Spoleto ballerina

Leontine Van Strein

Matinee idol's girl friend

Leo Coleman

Negro dancer

Laura Betti

Laura

Riccardo Garrone

Riccardo, the villa owner

Franca Pasut

Girl covered with feathers

Prince Eugenio Ruspoli Di Poggio Suasa

Don Eugenio Mascalchi

Daniela Calvino

Daniela

Enrico Glori

Nadia's admirer

Enzo Cerusico

Enzo Doria

Giulio Paradisi

Photojournalists

Henry Thody

Donatella Della Nora

Maïté Morand

Donato Castellaneta

John Francis Lane

Concetta Ragusa

François Dieudonné

Mario Mallarno

Nadia Balabine

Umberto Felici

Maurizio Guelfi

Press conference journalists

Leonida Repaci

Anna Salvatore

Letizia Spadini

Margherita Russo

Winie Vagliani

Desmond O'grady

Steiner's other guests

Count Ivenda Dobrzensky

Giovanni

Francesco Consalvo

Maria Teresa Vianello

Angela Giavalisco

Tiziano Cortini

Maria Mazzanti

People at airport

Tomás Torres

Gloria Hendy

Noel Sheldon

April Hennessy

Angela Wilson

People at Via Venneto

Giovanni Querrel

I. Campanino

Teresa Tsao

Giulio Citti

People at nightclub

Lisa Schneider

Aldo Vasco

Francisco Lori

Romolo Giordani

Ada Passeri

People in miracle sequence

Nina Hohenlohe

Maria Marigliano

Mario De Grenet

Franco Rossellini

Joan Antequera

People at the castle

Orietta Fiume

Katherine Denise

Mario Conocchia

Umberto Orsini

Domino

Lucia Vasilico

Photo Collections

Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for La dolce vita. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater. This pressbook was prepared for the 1966 reissue.

Film Details

Also Known As
La douceur de vivre
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1961
Premiere Information
New York opening: 19 Apr 1961
Production Company
Gray Films; Pathé Cinéma; Riama Film
Distribution Company
American International Pictures; Astor Pictures
Country
France
Location
Cinecitta Studios, Rome, Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 58m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Award Wins

Best Costume Design

1960
Piero Gherardi

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1960

Best Director

1962
Federico Fellini

Best Writing, Screenplay

1962
Federico Fellini

Quotes

You are the first woman on the first day of creation. You are mother, sister, lover, friend, angel, devil, earth, home.
- Marcello Rubini
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.
- Steiner
By 1965 there'll be total depravity. How squalid everything will be.
- Transvestite

Trivia

Producer Dino de Laurentiis left the project when director Federico Fellini refused to cast 'Newman, Paul' in the lead.

The film contributed the term "paparazzi" to the language. The term derives from Marcello's photographer friend Paparazzo.

Notes

Location scenes filmed in and around Rome. Opened in Rome in February 1960 as La dolce vita; running time: 180 min; opened in Paris in May 1960 as La douceur de vivre; running time: 172 min. American International Pictures rereleased a dubbed version in the United States in 1966; running time: 175 min.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted One of the Year's Five Best Foreign Language Films by the 1961 National Board of Review.

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Foreign Language Films by the 1961 New York Times Film Critics.

Winner of the Palme d'Or for Best Film at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.

Released in United States Spring April 20, 1961

Re-released in United States September 6, 1991

Re-released in United States April 10, 1992

Released in United States March 1980

Released in United States August 18, 1990

Released in United States 2011

Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 18, 1990.

Re-released in Oslo July 4, 1991.

Shot between March and August, 1959.

Totalscope

Re-released in Canberra September 25, 1989.

Re-released in Adelaide September 7, 1989.

Re-released in Brisbane October 1989.

Released in United States Spring April 20, 1961

Re-released in United States September 6, 1991 (Public Theater; New York City)

Re-released in United States April 10, 1992 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States March 1980 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (The Epic: A Monumental Movie Marathon) March 4-21, 1980.)

Released in United States August 18, 1990 (Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 18, 1990.)

Released in United States 2011 (World Cinema)

Voted Best Foreign Film of the Year by the 1961 New York Film Critics Association.