The Friends (1955)

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German title The friends
Original title Corpse
Country of production Italy
original language Italian
Publishing year 1955
length 104 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director Michelangelo Antonioni
script Michelangelo Antonioni
Suso Cecchi D'Amico
Alba de Céspedes
production Giovanni Addessi
music Giovanni Fusco
camera Gianni Di Venanzo
cut Eraldo Da Roma

German dubbing files

The friends is an Italian social and society portrait in the form of an ensemble film from 1955. Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni play Eleonora Rossi Drago , Gabriele Ferzetti , Franco Fabrizi , Valentina Cortese and Yvonne Furneaux the leading roles. The film is based on Cesare Pavese's novel "Lonely Women" ( Tra donne sole ).


Turin in the 1950s. Clelia, who once went to Rome as a poor, young girl to earn a living in a fashion salon, has risen to become a manager there. One day, the management sends her back to her hometown in northern Italy to open a local fashion store. When Clelia finds the very young Rosetta in the neighboring hotel room after an unsuccessful suicide attempt from lovesickness, Clelia ends up in a clique of women who are known to each other, some are even friends, but who are largely bored. They are classic representatives of the upper bourgeoisie - chic, wealthy and terribly bored. Their inner emptiness corresponds to the life they lead and from which they obviously neither can nor want to escape or change.

The life of these “friends” consists largely of gossip and flirting, shopping and strolling, painting nails and leafing through fashion magazines. Smaller groups form within this clique of friends, but they also break up again and again, and that doesn't only happen when men join them. Clelia, too, threatens to become more and more like “friends”: She rushes to end a flirtation with the decorator Carlo because she states that this simple worker would not fit into “her world” of social success and business acumen. When, as a result of malicious advice from the cynical Momina, Rosetta now successfully lays a hand on her and dies as a result, Clelia leaves this circle of persistent void of content and life and returns to Rome disaffected.

Production notes

Die Freundinnen is considered Antonioni's first artistically significant film and celebrated its world premiere on September 7, 1955. The film opened on March 31, 1961 in Germany. Immediately before, on January 16 of the same year, Die Freundinnen had its German premiere on ARD .

Gianni Polidori created the film structures, the costumes come from the Fontana fashion studio.


“The monotony of unfilled life is already depressingly present in the literary original. And Antonioni did not try to prepare this template effectively. He attacks the "girlfriends" who lead a life without a goal, not with big words or dramatic situations, but with the exact description of significant details from their everyday life. (...) The main point of the film is not the psychology of some people, but the malaise of women in our society. "

- Reclams film guide, by Dieter Krusche, collaboration: Jürgen Labenski. P. 200. Stuttgart 1973

In the lexicon of the international film it says: “The emptiness of man and the fragility of his relationships in our time, depicted in the social behavior of a Turin group of friends. Antonioni's viewing style encourages you to review your own intellectual livelihood. An excellently staged film adaptation of the literature, condensed into an impressive time analysis. "

“Antonioni adapts Pavese's story, but used it to represent his own point of view (...) The characters are drawn sharply and subtly: in long sequences of great complexity, camera movements, the movements of the actors and the way in which they relate to each other and relate to their physical environment, their individuality and their changing relationships between them. The film is unusual in that it emphasizes the ten characters in the same way. The acting performances are excellent, with Yvonne Furneaux especially standing out as a malicious Momina. "

- Bucher's Encyclopedia of Films, Verlag CJ Bucher, Lucerne and Frankfurt / M. 1977, p. 30


The film received several awards:

Individual evidence

  1. The girlfriends. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed December 24, 2018 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 

Web links