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      Fedora

      PG 1978 1h 50m Drama List
      71% Tomatometer 17 Reviews 62% Audience Score 500+ Ratings When movie legend Fedora (Marthe Keller) commits suicide, the world grieves, and no one more so than writer and old flame Barry "Dutch" Detweiler (William Holden). Two weeks prior, he had visited the reclusive celebrity on a remote Mediterranean island where she confessed she was effectively being held captive by a mysterious Polish countess (Hildegard Knef). Now, with too many lingering questions still on his mind, Barry resolves to find out what really happened to her. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

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      Keith Phipps The Dissolve There's a lot of awkwardness to Fedora, from a sluggish pace to an awful bit of last-minute overdubbing that mars two performances, but there's a lot of fascination in it. Rated: 3/5 Nov 10, 2014 Full Review Richard Brody New Yorker This one seethes with authentic nostalgia; Wilder's attempt not merely to eulogize earlier styles but to revive them feels somewhat embalmed. Sep 5, 2014 Full Review Melissa Anderson Artforum This wearying nostalgia for golden-age moviemaking aside, Fedora exposes, through a major plot twist I won't give away, the off-screen pathologies that constitute the nightmares of the dream factory. Sep 3, 2014 Full Review Richard Propes TheIndependentCritic.com Satisfying for Wilder's fans. Rated: 3.0/4.0 Sep 7, 2020 Full Review Jesús Fernández Santos El Pais (Spain) The plot illustrates more than it excites, and sits on the edges of the baroque or grotesque. [Full Review in Spanish] Aug 15, 2019 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion Gallant Hollywood-Babylon concerto Feb 6, 2010 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Will M Fedora sheds light on a pivotal point in Hollywood's past. Can Hollywood accurately portray itself and the problems behind the silver screen? A star-studded cast in Helmutt Idell's Fedora seeks to answer this quest. Lead by William Holden playing an aging producer: Dutch who travels to Corfu to coax the legendary Fedora, cast as Marthe Keller, out of retirement. After several attempts Dutch gains an audience first with the aged Countess, played by Hildegard Knef and in a reminiscence on the golden era of Hollywood remarks, "they sold off the back lot" and "it's not the same, kids with beards are running it all now". His audience with Fedora ends in an emotional breakdown, which we learn was caused by an obsession for Michael York, who played a cameo role as himself in Fedora's last comeback film. Dutch's repeated attempts to court Fedora back into the business cause her to be whisked off to Paris where she commits suicide by throwing herself in front of a speeding train, which is actually the film's first scene. It is here at the beginning we learn of her demise and as Dutch recounts the last two weeks, "maybe if I hadn't gone to Corfu she'd still be alive". This circular plot holds the audience in constant suspense, routing for the completion of Dutch's quest. In the final scene Dutch accuses the Countess of killing Fedora when she comes clean with the truth which will put a huge twist on the audience's view of this mystery thriller. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/14/24 Full Review Jonathan J Worst movie ever. I had to walk out. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 10/16/23 Full Review John H A haunting, sad footnote to Wilder's legendary "Sunset Blvd.," this movie reminds us - roughly 25 years later - of what a powerful medium was slowly vanishing from the more modern movie-going scene. As late as the 1970's the aging star named Fedora is struggling to maintain her persona of nearly ageless beauty. Her former lover, played by William Holden, a male actor himself showing only the the remnants of his handsomeness in "Sunset Blvd," pays a visit to her island home. His discoveries about the lengths to which she has gone to keep the illusion of her glamor alive remind us primarily of the final years of Marlene Dietrich's life. She was a great friend of Mr. Wilder, and this must have drawn him to this novella written by the actor, Tom Tryon. "Fedora" is a masterpiece that appeals ONLY to movie fans lucky enough to be immersed in the memories and power of the films produced by the dream factory in the earliest decades of the studio system. It is Wilder's final significant film, at once romantic, bitter and nostalgic. The more steeped the viewer is in a love for old movies, the more he/she will respond favorably to this. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/06/23 Full Review Audience Member A lost gem that I recently discovered on MUBI is Billy Wilder's penultimate film, reuniting him with screenwriter I.A.L Diamond and fifth-time collaborator, William Holden, in a companion piece to Sunset Boulevard, made 28 years earlier, in yet another Hollywood-centric story that takes a long hard look at its obsession with fame and youth. This time, Holden plays a movie producer who desperately needs to lure the famous but reclusive movie star, Fedora, out of retirement to do his picture. Set in Greece and France, with a mostly European cast, it's a film of two halves, that begins unfavourably like a badly written farce but turns around mid-point, and becomes a macabre melodrama, while no doubt causing tonal whiplash to its audience. There are some dubbing issues for the otherwise effectively enigmatic lead actresses Marthe Keller and Hildegard Knef and the antiquated score is ludicrously bad. Holden, who was 60 at the time and only 3 years away from his passing, sometimes look a little out of sorts and is side-lined for most of the second half. However, and despite its poor reception back then, I think this is a film ripe for reappraisal. While the first half is often unintentionally funny (the wallpaper reveal had me rolling on the floor, but don't forget Mario Adorf's Faulty Towers-like hotel management skills and Gottfried John's chauffeur/bodyguard Kritos's unintentional resemblance to a Bond villain sidekick – which incidentally he eventually got to do 17 years later in Goldeneye), Diamond's script really hits its stride in its second half and the end result is a flawed but campy melodrama whose convoluted twists and turns had me gripped and, cliches and silliness be damned, I cannot deny ultimately that it was a joy to watch. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Audience Member Interesting mystery film directed and performed very well. All in all very good and I can find nothing to complain about about the execution. Only the story is not that good and therefore the movie is something you watch very happily but don't necessarily think much afterwards. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member An homage to Sunset Boulevard that borders on straight imitation, but Fedora is still exceptional in every way. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Fedora

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis When movie legend Fedora (Marthe Keller) commits suicide, the world grieves, and no one more so than writer and old flame Barry "Dutch" Detweiler (William Holden). Two weeks prior, he had visited the reclusive celebrity on a remote Mediterranean island where she confessed she was effectively being held captive by a mysterious Polish countess (Hildegard Knef). Now, with too many lingering questions still on his mind, Barry resolves to find out what really happened to her.
      Director
      Billy Wilder
      Producer
      Billy Wilder
      Screenwriter
      Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond
      Production Co
      Bavaria Atelier, Société Française de Production, Lorimar Film Entertainment
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (DVD)
      May 26, 2009
      Runtime
      1h 50m