La Dolce Vita

1960 film directed by Federico Fellini

La Dolce Vita is a 1960 Italian comedy-drama film about a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Marcello Mastroianni as Marcello Rubini, and Anita Ekberg as Sylvia, into the Trevi Fountain
You are the first woman on the first day of creation. You are mother, sister, lover, friend, angel, devil, earth, home.
Directed and co-written by Federico Fellini.
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Marcello Rubini

  • [to Sylvia] You are everything... everything! You are the first woman on the first day of creation. You are mother, sister, lover, friend, angel, devil, earth, home.
  • [to Emma] A man who agrees to live like this is a finished man, he's nothing but a worm! I don't believe in your aggressive, sticky, maternal love! I don't want it, I have no use for it! This isn't love, it's brutalization!
  • I'm wasting time. I won't manage anything anymore. Once I had ambitions, but maybe I'm losing everything. I forgot everything.


  • Don't be like me. Salvation doesn't lie within four walls. I'm too serious to be an amateur, but not enough to be a professional. Even the most miserable life is better than a sheltered existence in an organized society where everything is calculated and perfected.
  • We must get beyond passions, like a great work of art. In such miraculous harmony. We should love each other outside of time... detached.
  • [to Emma] The day you understand that you love Marcello more than he does, you'll be happy.


  • [to Paparazzo] How can you be this way? It's not possible to be like you! Hyenas! You're worse than hyenas! You don't respect anyone! You make me sick! Cowards!
  • Come home, I'll make Ravioli! I want to make love!


  • [to Marcello] Stay free, available, like me. Never get married. Never choose. Even in love, it's better to be chosen.

Iris Tree

  • Le tre grandi evasioni -- fume, bere, letto. [The three great escapes—smoking, drinking, bed.]
  • The great thing is to burn, and not to freeze.
  • We must all think about tomorrow, but without forgetting to live today.


  • Transvestite: By 1965 there'll be total depravity. How squalid everything will be.


Journalist: What do you think you like most in life?
Sylvia: I like lots of things. But there are three things I like most. Love, love and love.

Journalist: How do you sleep, with pajamas or nightgown?
Sylvia: Neither. I sleep only in 2 drops of French perfume.

Quotes about

  • I'll ask myself: What is my favorite film? Or I'll skew the question slightly: What film would I most like to see again right now? The answer would not be "Kane." … Right now, this moment, the answer that would spring most quickly to mind is Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" (1960). I've seen it, oh, at least 25 times, maybe more. It doesn't get old for me. Age has not withered, not custom staled, its infinite variety. I've grown so worked up just writing this paragraph that I want to slide in the DVD and start watching immediately. … I might add that it is one of the most visually fluid movies ever made, a movie that approaches music in its rushing passion, not simply because Nino Rota's score is one of the best ever recorded, but because the characters seem to move with music within them (joyful, lustful, exciting, doubtful, sad).


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