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Vanina Vanini (1961)

Vanina Vanini, a bored, spoiled Roman countess, falls in love with a dedicated young patriot who is in Rome to assassinate a traitor to the brotherhood of the Free Masons.


Roberto Rossellini


Stendhal (short story: Chronique italienne), Franco Solinas (adaptation) | 6 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandra Milo ... Vanina Vanini
Laurent Terzieff ... Pietro Missirilli
Martine Carol ... Contessa Vitelleschi
Isabelle Corey ... Clelia
Nerio Bernardi ... Cardinal Savelli
Claudio Biava Claudio Biava
Leonardo Botta Leonardo Botta ... Le confesseur
Olimpia Cavalli Olimpia Cavalli ... La femme de chambre
Nando Cicero Nando Cicero ... Saverio Pontini (as Fernando Cicero)
Carlo Gazzabini Carlo Gazzabini
Enrico Glori Enrico Glori
Jean Gruault Jean Gruault ... Le castrat
Evar Maran Evar Maran ... (as Evaristo Maran)
Antonio Pierfederici Antonio Pierfederici ... Livio Savelli
Leonardo Severini Leonardo Severini


Vanina Vanini, a bored, spoiled Roman countess, falls in love with a dedicated young patriot who is in Rome to assassinate a traitor to the brotherhood of the Free Masons.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Italy | France



Release Date:

12 October 1961 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Betrayer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zebra Films, Orsay Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


On August 3rd 1980,the fullest surviving copy of the film, Rossellini,s work print which had been stored at a depot in Pontel, France in the care of the French Cinematheque, was destroyed in a fire. See more »


Referenced in The Dare (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

The Red and the Black.
4 April 2006 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

When I was a child ,I saw the trailer: it was the story of a princess in love with a shepherd in my child's mind.And of course I did not know who Rossellini was.

I had to wait twenty years or so to have the opportunity to see the film.The precedent user is completely right and his comment is more than useful: Martine Carol's part was reduced to nothing or almost nothing.She only appears at the beginning of the movie then she disappears after two or three scenes,leaving the lion's share to co-star Sandra Milo.The first thirty minutes are very hard to follow and the story really begins when Vanina visits Pietro,a Carbonaro who was injured after his escape from San Angelo Castle and taken in by her father whose motives remain a bit obscure (the precedent user wrote that thirty minutes were cut and that they were essential to understand them).

After a muddled beginning,the film hits its stride and remains absorbing till the very end.Rossellini is one of my favorite Italian directors and even when he was sub-par,he was better than most of his colleagues.

The most original thing in Rossellini's work is his great interest in history and in Christianity.From the Fascist years ( "l'Uomo della Croce" )to the birth of Neorealism ("Roma Città Aperta" ,"Germania Anno zero" ) and from the Bergman years ("Giovanna d'Arco al Rogo" and "Europa 51" ) to the final years ("la Presa del Potere di Luigi XIV" is the best film about the Sun King I know).

History and Christianity are both present in "Vanina Vanini": Vanina is an aristocrat of the past,she cannot feel History move ,she 's always a prisoner of a decadent religion,which is still firmly entrenched in the

good/bad conflict and she's still afraid of sin and damnation.In direct contrast to her,we have Pietro ,an educated carbonaro who was influenced by the French Revolution "which was not made by the populace but by enlightened minds " .Between Vanina's faith and Pietro's solidarity with his companions there is no room for a love as burning as theirs.

Based on a short story by Stendhal,this is probably the most overlooked of all Rossellini's works .Laurent Terzieff is a very gifted actor: although the most "Nouvelle Vague" of all the thespians of the era (late fifties/early sixties),he was never hired by Godard and his clique and found his best parts with "old" brilliant directors (Marcel Carné,Henri-Georges Clouzot,Claude Autant-Lara)

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