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The White Sheik (1952)

Lo sceicco bianco (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 25 April 1956 (USA)
Trailer
1:41 | Trailer
During a day in their honeymoon, a couple is separated by the city's lust and the desires it produces.

Director:

Federico Fellini

Writers:

Michelangelo Antonioni (story) (as M. Antonioni), Federico Fellini (story) (as F. Fellini) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alberto Sordi ... Fernando Rivoli - lo sceicco bianco
Brunella Bovo Brunella Bovo ... Wanda Giardino Cavalli
Leopoldo Trieste ... Ivan Cavalli
Giulietta Masina ... Cabiria - La prostituta
Ernesto Almirante Ernesto Almirante ... Dottore Fortuna - il regista del fotoromanzo
Lilia Landi Lilia Landi ... Felga - La zingara del fotoromanzo
Fanny Marchiò Fanny Marchiò ... Marilena Alba Vellardi
Gina Mascetti Gina Mascetti ... Aida Rivoli - La moglie di Fernando
Jole Silvani Jole Silvani ... Collega di Cabiria
Enzo Maggio Enzo Maggio ... Furio
Anna Primula Anna Primula
Mimo Billi Mimo Billi ... Man on the beach
Armando Libianchi Armando Libianchi
Ugo Attanasio Ugo Attanasio ... Uncle of Ivan
Giulio Moreschi Giulio Moreschi ... Portiere d'albergo
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Storyline

Who would have thought that only moments after arriving at Rome for their honeymoon, the young and pure bride, Wanda, would sneak out of the room, leaving her fastidious groom, Ivan, all alone? Obsessed with the masculine Fernando Rivoli--the hero of her favourite romantic photo-novel, The White Sheik--Wanda plucks up the courage to meet him in person, only to be seduced by the arrogant protagonist, so far away from the hotel and her husband. As a result--perplexed by Wanda's strange disappearance, and unable to disclose the news to his family--Ivan meanders through the ill-lit Roman streets in search of his wife, on pins and needles, waiting for their eleven o'clock appointment with his uncle and the Papal Audience at the Vatican. What does the new day have in store for the separated newlyweds? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

italy | newlywed | honeymoon | boat | sword | See All (22) »

Taglines:

Incredibly Sweet and Charming Film! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

25 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The White Sheik See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$46,071

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,071
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

OFI, P.D.C. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the score was recycled in La Strada (1954) See more »

Quotes

Police Officer: [Reading a letter found by Ivan] "Dear Passionate Dolly, If, as you say, you will visit Rome soon, come and see me. We'll spend a few unforgettable hours together. Your White Sheik." So, are you Passionate Dolly?
Ivan Cavalli: Me?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wild Man Blues (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A delightful and enchanting comedy from Fellini
28 September 2003 | by Ymir4See all my reviews

"Our real lives are in our dreams, but sometimes dreams are a fatal abyss."

That line above is one of the most beautiful lines I've ever heard in any film. This 1951 comedy feature is free of Fellini's quintessential surrealist vision but filled with the delights of idiosyncratic imagery, genius comical precision, and indisputable humanity.

The film opens in Rome, where a newlywed small-town couple is vacationing on their honeymoon. While in Rome, the (very) young bride takes advantage of being near the location where a new film is being shot that stars The White Sheik, a popular film/serial/newspaper icon whom she is secretly infatuated with. While her husband is sleeping, she sneaks off to find the Sheik and give him a drawing she has made of him. Brunella Bovo, who plays the bride, is new to me, but she was absolutely entrancing in her innocence. Trieste's comic expressions are absolutely arresting. Sordi is hilarious as the Sheik, who is about as unromantic a romantic figure as you can imagine.

Nino Rota's first score for Fellini is a lot of fun and exceptionally carnivalesque. You can tell by the marriage of music and image that Fellini and Rota had a real treasured creative hit-off with this film, and as most know, Rota scored every Fellini film after "White Sheik" until his death in 1979. This great score has never been released in it's entirety, but the main title theme has appeared on many Rota compilations.

An absolutely adorable little film, which seems to have been regrettably ignored by the majority. It's one I will watch many times.


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