CRANFORD—The Friends of the Cranford Public Library’s international film series continues with Federico Fellini’s The White Sheik on Monday, Oct. 15, at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue.
The White Sheik (1952, 86 minutes), a gently satirical comedy, marked Fellini’s first credit as sole director. Prior to The White Sheik, Fellini’s film experience—dating back to 1945—had been as an actor and screenwriter, except for one co-directing credit.
The White Sheik tells the story of newlyweds Wanda and Ivan, who travel to Rome for their honeymoon. Wanda idolizes Fernando Rivoli, who stars as the White Sheik in a popular photo comic strip, and she takes the opportunity of being in Rome to seek him out. However, upon finally meeting Rivoli, Wanda quickly realizes that he is far from the dashing, noble White Sheik of her dreams. Meanwhile, Wanda’s quest for the White Sheik leaves her husband, Ivan, at wit’s end as he tries to explain her continual absences to his Roman relatives.
The film also briefly features Fellini’s wife, Giuletta Masina, as a prostitute named Cabiria. Fellini later featured Masina as Cabiria in Nights of Cabiria (1957). Based on an idea by director Michelangelo Antonioni, The White Sheik was the inspiration for Gene Wilder’s The World’s Greatest Lover (1977).
Admission to the screenings is free and all are welcome. For a complete list of upcoming international, classic, and documentary films sponsored by the Friends of the Library, go to http://www.cranford.com/library/special.asp and click on Films.