Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 6, 2017
A rather straightforward comedy by Fellini standards, but one bolstered by expressive performances and with no shortage of thematic depth.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2016
Fellini's first solo effort is this lovely gem that already showcased his talent for combining a neorealist structure with delightful touches of farce and fantasy, especially in those hilarious moments when Leopoldo Trieste is desperate to find his missing wife.
June 3, 2016
"-Real life is the life of dreams"
½ November 26, 2015
Fellini's first pic mixes rom-com-dram
April 5, 2015
This is a drama about clash of desires of groupie girl and pretentious boy with a happy end of both landing the Earth.
½ September 7, 2014
The neorealist Fellini is always more approachable. This lighthearted comedy is a pleasure to watch.
Super Reviewer
½ September 12, 2013
From Th Criterion Collection, Spine Number 189. THE WHITE SHEIK is a low-budget film set in early 1950s Rome. It concerns a newly-wed couple Ivan (Leopoldo Trieste) and Wanda (Brunella Bovo) who arrive in the city for their honeymoon. Ivan has the arrangements all planned - they will meet his uncle and aunt, see the Pope, visit the sights and enjoy a quiet evening in. However things start to go off the rails when Wanda decides to look for her hero the White Sheik (Alberto Sordi), star of a series of comic-books and films. Her enthusiasm leads her astray from the hotel and into a series of adventures involving her being transported to the film-set, being taken on a boat with the Sheik, lost in the wilderness and taken back to Rome in a strongman's automobile. Ivan tries to look for her, but ends up in a series of adventures of his own as he desperately tries to convince his relatives that everything is perfectly serene in his marital life. Fellini's film rebounds from misadventure to misadventure; it is in fact extremely funny, with wonderful performances from the three leading actors, all of whom understand the importance of gesture and facial expression. Fellini spent his early years working with clowns; it's clear that this experience informs the film. THE WHITE SHEIK has a relatively short running-time - just over 80 minutes - but it is well worth watching. 3 3/4 Stars 9-12-13
May 29, 2013
Light Comedy Probes Questions of Dreams, Pop Culture Icons and Familial Honour--Goofy Uber-Italian Delight!!
May 3, 2013
Fellini IS the magic of cinema. He created an entire universe with every film he made, and what a universe it is to be a part of! That's not to say that I love every Fellini film because there are some that I don't exactly care for, namely Juliet of the Spirits, Nights of Cabiria and Satyricon. However, I cannot help but have the utmost respect and love for the man who made La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2, and who also championed a cinema of dreams. The White Sheik was the director's first solo project, and to watch it is to be bewildered at the masterful way in which Fellini cradled his characters. The actors themselves are brilliant under Fellini's compassionate direction. I loved Brunella Bovo's elvish face and her ribbon lips and the way she conveyed the wistful naivete of Wanda. I loved Alberto Sordi's big put-on of a smile and his fumbling attempts to retain his status. I loved Leopoldo Trieste's sweaty, anxious facial expressions which conveyed the helplessness of a husband whose wife ran away. The magic is so palpable in this film, and I am grateful to Fellini for sharing that magic.
April 6, 2013
Una buona commedia irriverente che sa prendere in giro sia lo showbiz dell'epoca sia il moralismo italiano formato da casa, famiglia e chiesa. La scena di Alberto Sordi (lo sceicco bianco) in altalena e' must. La parte piu' interessante e' appunto dalla scena dell'altalena fino alla fine delle "riprese", un infinito circo di primedonne, menefreghismo e pochezza delle persone, soprattutto quelle famose.
January 15, 2013
Neo realism mixed with fantasy, this Fellini gem is great on many levels. The marriage union is tested by a new bride who dreams of a fantasy life with a sheik from a comic. She gets her chance to join the comic troop much to the dismay of the husband and their plans to visit the church. The Sheik sequences were dreamy. The swinging in the trees was memorable. Also highly memorable for having an appearance from Cabiria, who would go on to have her own amazing movie.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2012
Fellini has such a reputation that it might be difficult to even consider watching his work: "maybe I won't understand it ..." Well there's no reason to fear in this, his first, a light romantic comedy. A young couple's honeymoon is put on hold when the naive wife first stops to pay her respects to the Italian equivalent of a television soap opera star. Its fun, and Rome herself is the backdrop.
½ September 2, 2012
Surprisingly good for the first film. Many of the Fellinian elements are already here - circus, moviemaking - tragic comedy, italian madness.
March 11, 2012
A newlywed breaks away from a rigid unromantic honeymoon schedule set up by her husband to a film set where she meets up with an actor playing an idealized romantic character the White Sheik. It's lighter and fluffier than the works of Fellini which I've seen so far. It's also quite funny and absurd. I was somewhat annoyed by the characters at first but it won me over in the end.
½ February 24, 2012
Though many regard Federico Fellini's first solo work as a minor movie, I find it to be something quite extraordinary, and I believe one can gain a lot by seeing this before venturing into the rest of the ringleader's ouvre. It's a fantastically simple story, yet there are great strands of comic complexity that run through it. The plot, which is cut from the same mold as the great works of Charlie Chaplin and Rene Clair, concerns itself with a newlywed couple on their honeymoon in Rome. The man, Ivan Cavalli (Leopoldo Trieste), checks himself and his wife, Wanda (Brunella Bovo), into a hotel room and proceeds to rattle off the itinerary he has built for the two of them, all centered around her meeting his prestigious family for the first time. She, however, has made secret plans of her own to meet an entertainment star named Alberto Sordi- or The White Sheik, in pictures. From here, the two lose each other and spend the rest of the film trying to find each other again, all while encountering the usual ensemble of strange and interesting characters that would become characteristic of Fellini's films; there is even an appearance by Giulietta Masina as Cabiria, a role she would play again in Fellini's later 'Nights of Cabiria'. It's all pretty lightweight stuff, but I think that's what is so important about the film. It's affirmation of love and life sheds some light on some of Fellini's later, more complex narratives, cracking open some of the shells we recognize later in films like 'La Strada' and 'Amarcord', allowing us to find the simple pleasures within them. He says some beautiful things about marriage, trust and forgiveness here and presents two of his most pure and admirable characters. It's a joyous movie, and one of the better debuts I have ever seen.
Super Reviewer
½ February 21, 2012
This light comedy from the young Federico Fellini easily surpassed my expectations. Fellini disciples will enjoy the show-business elements and Nino Rota's whimsical score, but what's most striking is how much "The White Sheik" anticipates Woody Allen's later films. Swap a Woody ingenue like Mia Farrow, Samantha Morton or Gretchen Mol into the lead female role, and you'd scarcely notice the difference. Farrow's work in "The Purple Rose of Cairo" is especially relevant.

A honeymooning Italian couple visits Rome, ostensibly to meet the groom's family and have a brief audience with the Pope. But the bride has a secret agenda: to visit the offices of a frothy romance magazine she reads. She's especially infatuated with a pictorial series called "The White Sheik." She sneaks out the bathroom window of her hotel room and tracks down the magazine's nearby headquarters. Her innocent enthusiasm charms the staffers she meets, and she ends up tagging along on a remote "White Sheik" photo shoot. But her panicked husband has no idea where she is -- he thought she was simply taking a bath.

Dual conflicts unfold simultaneously. While the hapless, wide-eyed husband searches for his wife and fumbles to explain her absence to the family, the wife bonds with the model portraying the sheik and arouses his wife's fiery jealousy.

The actor playing the husband (Leopoldo Trieste) has a gift for physical humor, and there's also a brief scene with Giulette Masina (Fellini's real-life wife), where her unmistakable charisma clearly anticipates her future stardom. Just a wonderfully acted and directed film, all around. I'm sure Woody would agree.
½ July 24, 2011
Early Fellini film is light and frothy, skewering fame and idolization in easy but enjoyable ways.
½ September 26, 2010
feliini também sabia ser leve.
½ September 8, 2010
A funny, charming and highly enjoyable Fellini film.
June 11, 2010
A fun, subtly heartwarming, and sublime film that shows Fellini's passion and potential very early on.
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