White Sheik

The White Sheik

Director: Federico Fellini

Cast: Brunella Bovo, Alberto Sordi, Leopoldo Trieste

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The White Sheik (Lo Sceicco Bianco), Fellini's first solo flight as director, is a gentle lampoon of the idolatry heaped upon movie stars. Unhappy with her new husband Leopoldo Trieste, impressionable young bride Brunella Bovo fantasizes over matinee idol Alberto Sordi. Leaving her husband, Bovo repairs to the location site where Sordi's latest film,

Overview

The White Sheik (Lo Sceicco Bianco), Fellini's first solo flight as director, is a gentle lampoon of the idolatry heaped upon movie stars. Unhappy with her new husband Leopoldo Trieste, impressionable young bride Brunella Bovo fantasizes over matinee idol Alberto Sordi. Leaving her husband, Bovo repairs to the location site where Sordi's latest film, The White Shiek, is in production. Her inevitable disillusionment with the vainglorious Sordi is intercut with her husband's attempts to hide the fact that his wife has walked out on him. After a comically inept suicide attempt, Bovo and Trieste are reunited. Featured in the cast is Fellini's wife Giuletta Masina as a prostitute named Cabiria, who'd be given a vehicle of her own, Nights of Cabiria, in 1955. Based on "an idea" by Michelangelo Antonioni, The White Sheik was the main inspiration for Gene Wilder's The World's Greatest Lover (1977).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Wheeler Winston Dixon
With a script principally written by Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini, The White Sheik is a rather light and somewhat inconsequential comedy, chronicling the romantic misadventures of Ivan Cavalli (Leopoldo Trieste) and his bride, Wanda (Brunella Bovo), who have come to Rome for their honeymoon. Ivan has drawn up a minute-by-minute schedule for their stay in the Eternal City, including an audience with the Pope. Wanda is more distracted, however, and dreams of meeting Fernando Rivoli (the great comic actor Alberto Sordi), the leading man in the well-known fumetti "The White Sheik" (fumetti being the popular Italian comic strips that substitute photos of real-life actors for drawings). This leads to a series of clashes between the couple, as Wanda has been carrying on a secret correspondence with Rivoli, and is soon whisked away to the set of his latest comic-strip adventure, where the "star" makes romantic advances on her. In the meantime, Ivan is left to make clumsy explanations to his relatives, and drowns his sorrows with a visit to a prostitute. All of this leads to an eventual reconciliation of the couple, their illusions now vanished, as they start their lives together. This early Fellini film is a modest and gentle satire, though some count it among the director's finest works. Fellini's comedies always seem to have tragic threads waiting to be teased out, which the films then shy away from at a crucial juncture; Fellini is best as a social essayist when he plays his material straight rather than attempting to send it up. All in all, The White Sheik is minor Fellini, but completists will certainly want to see it, if only to get a better idea of how the director's genius eventually developed.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/29/2003
UPC:
0037429175927
Original Release:
1952
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:26:00

Special Features

New digital transfer, with restored picture and sound; New video interviews with actors Brunella Bovo and Leopoldo Trieste, and Fellini biographer Moraldo Rossi; New essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, and an excerpt from Charlotte Chandler's biography I, Fellini; New and improved English subtitle translation; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brunella Bovo Wanda
Alberto Sordi Fernando Rivoli
Leopoldo Trieste Ivan Cavalli
Giulietta Masina Cabiria
Lilia Landi Felga
Ernesto Almirante Director of "White Sheik" Strip
Antoni Acqua Actor
Mimo Billi Actor
Ettore Maria Margadonna Ivan's Uncle
Ugo Attanasio Actor
Carlo Mazzone Actor
Enzo Maggio Hotel Concierge
Fanny Marchio Marilena Vellardi
Gina Mascetti "White Sheik's" Wife
Jole Silvani Actor

Technical Credits
Federico Fellini Director,Screenwriter
Michelangelo Antonioni Screenwriter
Ennio Flaiano Screenwriter
Tullio Pinelli Screenwriter
Nino Rota Score Composer
Luigi Rovere Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Logos/Opening Credits [1:52]
2. Rome [2:26]
3. The Honeymoon Itinerary [5:11]
4. Via XXIV Maggio [5:15]
5. "Dear Passionate Dolly" [6:19]
6. A Very Bad Headache [5:14]
7. The White Sheik [7:11]
8. "More Oriental!" [4:49]
9. "Graceful, Sweet, and Teeny..." [2:08]
10. At Sea With the Sheik [6:44]
11. "A Delicate Matter" [8:21]
12. Rita [5:55]
13. Cabiria [2:55]
14. An Evil Fate [5:19]
15. Ward 5 [4:18]
16. St. Peter's Cathedral [7:43]
1. Casting Leopoldo [8:10]
2. Casting Brunella [2:16]
3. Fellini's First [4:20]
4. Acting for Fellini [3:22]
5. Fotoromanzi and Fumetti [6:07]
6. (A Very) Critical Reception [6:59]

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >