White Nights (Le Notti Bianche) (1961)
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Movie InfoShy young Marcelo Mastroianni ambles across a bridge one evening, where he meets a strange but alluring girl (Maria Schell) who is awaiting her lover. This chance acquaintance is the first strand in a complex web entrapping Mastroianni in a dreamlike world of flashbacks, flashforwards and false visions. The girl, suspecting that her lover is staying at a nearby hotel, asks Mastroianni to deliver a note to the errant swain. He agrees--then destroys the note, setting the plot in motion. Updated from a 19th century story by Dostoyevsky, White Nights (Le Notti Bianche) was later refilmed by Robert Bresson as Four Nights of a Dreamer. … More
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Critic Reviews for White Nights (Le Notti Bianche)
A crucial turning point, the link between Visconti's early neorealist manner and the obsessive stylization of his late films.
A deliberately artificial exercise by a director who had previously specialized in neorealism.
Audience Reviews for White Nights (Le Notti Bianche)
As exquisite and heartbreaking as its literary sibling. Mastroianni is wonderful as the young loner, a dreamer looking for something tangible. After all, he, and some other few italian leading men (Sordi, Gassman, Manfredi) had that aura of tragicomic hero, common people with complex mentality and values.
I can't blame him for falling in love with such gorgeous woman as Maria Schell was. Her eyes and smile irradiate such passion and purity. I shed a tear at the end, even if I knew how it ended, like its source material, it acts as a mirror of my own sensibility and conjures up many past, good and bad, memories.
This is a nice movie about a romance which grows out of a chance meeting, but it can be boring in scenes. Overall it's pretty good, though.More
if on a winter's nght a traveler...Italo Calvino's book title is the perfect caption for this movie. Dostoyevsky's short story is beautifully adapted to Italy. The stage set and framing of shots enhance this exploration of fantasy versus reality. This film also includes one of the best dance sequences I have ever seen, rivalling La Dolce Vita's dance and striptease. Ah, Marcello Mastroianni's face! ~ the perfect depiction of the disaffected. Maria Schell blooms with innocence. The film begins and ends with loneliness ~ the question remains if transformation and happiness are even possible or lasting within this vision of reality.More
[font=Century Gothic]In "Le Notti Bianche", Mario(Marcello Mastroianni) has only been living in the city for the past couple of weeks. After spending the day in the country with his supervisor's family, he comes across a young woman, Natalia(Maria Schell), waiting on a bridge. He pursues her and elicits the promise that they meet the following night at the same place but she does not show. Eventually, they do find each other again and she explains her behavior, starting out with how she is part of a family of rug repairers; her grandmother keeping her close at her side with a safety pin and the mysterious tenant(Jean Marais), she has formed an attachment to.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Based on a story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Le Notti Bianche" does not make a successful transition to a 20th century setting because despite the updating of the material, the characters still act in a very old fashioned manner. Still, it is a respectable experiment about lonely people with a very fun scene set in a juke joint.[/font]
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