Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa (1965) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa (1965)

Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this film, American Andrew comes with his young wife Sandra to her Italian estate, where she again finds herself a prisoner of the past: the memories of her dead father, hostility towards her mother, and her strange relationship with her brother Gianni.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Luchino Visconti, Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Enrico Medioli
In Theaters:
Vides Cinematografica


Jean Sorel
as Gianni
Renzo Ricci
as Gilardini
Fred Williams
as Pietro Fornari
Marie Bell
as Mother
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa

Critic Reviews for Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (4)

Visconti's approach is both classical and modern, etching tableaus of gone-to-seed opulence in high-contrast black and white while incorporating handheld camerawork, zooms and idiosyncratically framed shots.

Full Review… | November 19, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

A dessert cart for the cinema-minded.

Full Review… | November 19, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

With its hard edges and dark shadows, crashing zooms and feline rages, Visconti's tale is, in effect, a work of Gothic modernism, in which history replaces mythology and madness evokes the blocked-out light of therapy.

Full Review… | October 14, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

The power of the film comes not from its mystery but from its drama, from Cardinale's incredible screen presence and Visconti's vivid visual ideas.

Full Review… | March 31, 2014
Eye for Film

The sexy Claudia Cardinale in the Electra role steals the film's acting honors.

Full Review… | March 15, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa


"Sandra" promises greatness with the presence of luscious Claudia Cardinale and director Luchino Visconti, but this sluggish tale unfortunately fails to deliver. Cardinale plays a jet-set beauty who returns to the lavish family mansion with her new husband, only to find some dark secrets re-emerge during the reunion. There's not much more to say about the story, which should tell you something about its thin development -- mostly, the action is just a lot of indoor talking and implied tension. There's also a remarkably grating piano piece recurring in the score. And while I rarely complain about old films not being in color, this is one case where I will -- the black-and-white cinematography poorly serves the home's opulent decor.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer


With the party now over in Geneva, Sandra(Claudia Cardinale) is currently free to return to her home village in Italy with Andrew(Michael Craig), her American husband of a year, to put the family affairs in order. Frustratingly enough, they have to wait for her brother Gianni(Jean Sorel) to put in an apperance. Otherwise, he has been busy selling off the family heirlooms to support his lifestyle and writing of a book. On the other hand, he is happy to give Andrew a tour of the sights that includes an introduction to Dr. Pietro Formari(Fred Williams) who used to have a crush on Sandra while she stays behind to look through the family documents.

"Sandra" is a beguilingly gothic tale consisting of all the necessary ingredients such as family, madness and sex. In introducing the movie, Gavin Smith remarked on the triangle at its heart while I would respectfully point out that the geometry is much more complex, with Sandra throwing off the orbits of the men around her with her ample charms. Politically, the movie is also about identity(Gianni and Sandra prominently wear Star of David's mostly to honor their father who died in Auschwitz) and how some of the characters have a problem adjusting to the new world order which is not necessarily due to provincialism as stated. This all happens in a country that is in ruins but what beautiful ruins.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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