The White Sheik

  • 1952
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy

Federico Fellini's first solo directorial effort (he codirected VARIETY LIGHTS with Alberto Lattuada in 1951) is an enjoyable romp that shows the director's early promise. Newlyweds Wanda (Brunella Bovo) and Ivan Cavalli (Leopoldo Trieste) are honeymooning in Rome. The couple is mismatched: Ivan is conservative in nature, while his bride is full of spontaneity...read more

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Federico Fellini's first solo directorial effort (he codirected VARIETY LIGHTS with Alberto Lattuada in 1951) is an enjoyable romp that shows the director's early promise. Newlyweds Wanda (Brunella Bovo) and Ivan Cavalli (Leopoldo Trieste) are honeymooning in Rome. The couple is

mismatched: Ivan is conservative in nature, while his bride is full of spontaneity and eager to pursue her dreams. When Wanda learns that the popular photographic comic book "The White Sheik" is being shot nearby, she heads off to ogle the sheik (Alberto Sordi), sending Ivan on a frantic search

for her all over Rome and jeopardizing their planned papal audience. When Wanda actually meets her idol, however, the sheik proves to be less than dashing. Already displaying his fascination with the romantic dreams of everyday people, Fellini orchestrates fantasy and reality deftly here as the

newlyweds' perceptions of life and of each other change under the pressure of their unusual circumstances. The film falters in its pacing, however, which is somewhat too slow. Originally proposed as a project for Michelangelo Antonioni, THE WHITE SHEIK is not one of Fellini's masterworks (and

uncharacteristically farcical), but it is a must-see for those interested in the director's oeuvre and an entertaining piece on its own.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Federico Fellini's first solo directorial effort (he codirected VARIETY LIGHTS with Alberto Lattuada in 1951) is an enjoyable romp that shows the director's early promise. Newlyweds Wanda (Brunella Bovo) and Ivan Cavalli (Leopoldo Trieste) are honeymooning… (more)

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