7.2/10
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12 user 9 critic

Sandra (1965)

Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa... (original title)
Sandra returns to her childhood village to take care of family business, but her childhood memories and secrets soon overcome her.

Director:

Luchino Visconti

Writers:

Suso Cecchi D'Amico (story and screenplay), Enrico Medioli (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claudia Cardinale ... Sandra Dawdson
Jean Sorel ... Gianni Wald-Luzzati
Michael Craig ... Andrew Dawdson
Renzo Ricci ... Antonio Gilardini
Fred Williams ... Pietro Formari
Amalia Troiani Amalia Troiani ... Fosca, la domestica
Marie Bell ... Corinna Gilardini, madre di Sandra e Gianni
Vittorio Manfrino Vittorio Manfrino
Giovanni Rovini Giovanni Rovini
Renato Moretti Renato Moretti
Paola Piscini Paola Piscini
Isacco Politi Isacco Politi
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Storyline

Sandra comes back to Volterra, in Tuscany, the little town where she spent her childhood. She is with her American husband, Andrew. She wishes to pay homage to her father who died in Auschwitz where she was still a little child. In Volterra, Andrew meets for the first time Gianni, Sandra's brother. He soon realizes that Sandra and Gianni have a secret since their childhood. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SANDA has a husband - SANDRA has a brother - SANDRA loves one of them much too much. (original USA poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | Hebrew | French | English

Release Date:

16 January 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sandra of a Thousand Delights See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vides Cinematografica See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first films in which Claudia Cardinale (who was born In Tunisia and whose first language was French) dubbed herself in Italian. See more »

Quotes

Corinna Gilardini, madre di Sandra e Gianni: Two monsters, monsters, my children. Yes, my children. He was always hiding there behind the door. What am I to say? Are my children monsters? My enemies?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Visconti (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

E se domani
Written by Carlo Alberto Rossi and Giorgio Calabrese
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clues strewn by Visconti allow the viewer to enjoy a multi-layered film
19 September 2019 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

Deserved the Golden Lion at Venice. Powerful at all times except for its below average beginning. Then it changes gears.

The film is typical Visconti--a well-to-do upper class family returning to the childhood manor, picking up the memorable pieces of a rich and comfortable past before the World War II (literally in the film, the sale of valued paintings, property, and in this film, a garden that needs costly upkeep forcing the family now to gift it to the townsfolk as public property). Touches of Visconti's and Lampedusa's "The Leopard" made just before this film.

The original head of the family, Sandra's father was a Jew, and executed by the Nazis. He was exposed as a Jew by his wife, a famous pianist who fell in love with a lawyer. Sandra suspects the lawyer and her mother for her father's demise. Visconti never reveals why the Nazis spared the family members. Now Sandra's mother is demented and her father's statue in the garden is always covered in a white sheet giving the suggestion of a ghost. But the film is not about ghosts.

The film is more about Sandra (Cardinale) and her brother Gianni (Sorel) who reveal an past that might never have been consummated. Now that Sandra is married to Andrew (Craig), Gianni removes the wedding ring from Sandra's finger and wears it, Sandra's protests unheeded.

Visconti's script reveals that Sandra had a lover, Antonio (who still adores her, played by Ricci), but they could not marry because of the class divide and opposition from her mother to the relationship. Years later Antonio becomes a doctor who treats Sandra's demented mother.

While the film is not about ghosts, it is about a dark past, bitter memories, class and religious conflicts, that struggle to keep pace with the world outside the Italian town with a rich history. An electra complex emerges like a ghost--Visconti's images of Cardinale's body (especially her eyes that wonder who is outside her bedroom door) are absolutely top notch. There is no overt sex, no on screen and even the spoken words deny more than underscore it. you wonder about Sandra's mother if she is truly demented when she accuses her daughter Sandra of slithering in like a serpent.

Every bit of the film makes you wonder as you clutch at the straws the director throws as clues for the viewer to solve a big puzzle. The poem which provides the original Italian title of the film is one, There are more Solve them and you will love the film. Deserving of the Venice honor. Thank you, Cardinale and Sorel, for your unforgettable screen time in this film. A film that anticipates Visconti's "The Damned" and "Conversation Piece."


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