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I Knew Her Well (1965)

Io la conoscevo bene (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 2 December 1965 (Italy)
Adriana, a naive Italian country girl, moves to Rome to become a movie star and experiences the dark side of the business.


Antonio Pietrangeli (story), Ruggero Maccari (story) | 4 more credits »

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6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stefania Sandrelli ... Adriana Astarelli
Mario Adorf ... Emilio Ricci, aka Bietolone
Jean-Claude Brialy ... Dario Marchionni
Joachim Fuchsberger ... The Writer
Nino Manfredi ... Cianfanna
Enrico Maria Salerno ... Roberto
Ugo Tognazzi ... Gigi Baggini
Karin Dor ... Barbara, the lady friend of Adriana
Franco Fabrizi ... Paganelli
Turi Ferro ... Il commissario
Robert Hoffmann ... Antonio Marais
Franco Nero ... Italo - The garage attendant
Véronique Vendell ... Alice Stendhal (as Veronique Vendell)
Franca Polesello Franca Polesello ... Maria - The usherette
Renato Terra Renato Terra ... Man in the caravan (as Renato Terra Caizzi)


Adriana, a naive Italian country girl, moves to Rome to become a movie star and experiences the dark side of the business.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »



Italy | France | West Germany



Release Date:

2 December 1965 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

I Knew Her Well See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,312, 7 February 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,312, 7 February 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The soundtracks have a lot of hit tunes from the 60s. They show what people listen to in pop music in Italy at the time. See more »


Cianfanna: Gimme a cigarette. I don't have any on me - I'm trying to quit.
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Referenced in Splendor (1989) See more »


Written by Louis Amade and Gilbert Bécaud
Performed by Gilbert Bécaud
Courtesy of Dischi La Voce del Padrone
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

an unalloyed Italian hidden gem exhumed from near obscurity
25 May 2018 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

A definite highlight of Italian filmmaker Antonio Pietrangeli's career, on which would be tragically put a kibosh by his untimely death in 1968, in reality, people do die of drowning after falling off a cliff.

I KNEW HER WELL continues his streak of strong female presentation, first and foremost, it is a story about a prelapsarian countryside Italian girl Adriana (a 19-year-old Sandrelli uncannily likens a luscious Taylor Swift), who jauntily pursues her star-making dream in the capital city.

Pietrangeli and his co-writers configure a loosely chronological and episodic narrative detailing the interactions between Adriana and a smorgasbord of male characters, from boyfriends, bedfellows, exploiters to sympathetic have-nots, scathingly refracts the sprawling turpitude infesting the showbiz, that a young and unsophisticated Adriana is always given the short end of the stick, can never fall in love with the right guy, and occasional sparkling of kindness dims quickly since it is just not the right time, and the film's ostensibly disengaged observation gives way to an abrupt kicker in the end, where a dysphoria-stricken Adriana takes a radical step to purge her profound disillusion out of her existence.

Wonderfully concatenating manifold vignettes into a cogent case study pertaining to the disintegration of a starlet-to-be's pipe dream (often meld perfectly with era-specific tuneage and dancing routines), Pietrangeli enlists a swell group of multi-national supporting actors, natives Manfredi (unscrupulous), Salerno (pompous), Fabrizi (smarmy), Nero (four-square), joined by a French (Brialy), a German (Fuchsberger), an Austrian (Hoffman) and a Swiss (Adorf) to bolster the mainstay, among whom, Ugo Tagnazzi brilliantly steals the limelight with his backbreaking tap dance and abjectly obsequious attitude as a struggling has-been.

As our leading lady, Sandrelli is de facto a phenomenal wet-behind-the-ears ingénue, but also excels in bringing about a palpable strength of integrity and defiance that is well beyond her age, yet, more often than not, emanates a ghost of melancholia even when hijinks are in full swing. Unequivocally evokes a young girl's version of Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA, I KNEW HER WELL is an unalloyed Italian hidden gem exhumed from near obscurity with its shimmering amalgamation of vintage style, unaffected poignancy and incisive self-mockery.

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