best film: 8 ½ is the best film with Cardinale in it but her small archiveable filmography is loaded with great films including Once Upon a Time in the West which she is featured more prominently. Still, upon the second, third, and endless rewatches of 8 ½ you appreciate the small roles and performances from the talented ensemble—including Cardinale.

best performance:  Once Upon a Time in the West is where she goes toe to toe with Robards, Henry Fonda and others in Leone’s masterpiece. She’s the lead. Leone’s penchant for close-up work isn’t lost on both Cardinale’s beauty and expressive eyes.  It makes for a great performance. She would’ve made a great silent film actress with those eyes.

stylistic innovations/traits: Above here I mentioned her expressive eyes. She’s on this list though because of the quality of films she’s in. 8 ½ and Once Upon a Time in the West aren’t going anywhere on my top 100 and at various times I’ve had both Rocco and Fitzcarraldo on the list as well. So she’s in four of the top 125 films of all-time without a doubt. That’s incredible.

directors worked with: Visconti (3), one tremendous film a piece with Fellini, Leone and Herzog

Top 5 Performances:

  1. Once Upon a Time in the West
  2. The Leopard
  3. Rocco and His Brothers
  4. 8 ½
  5. Fitzcarraldo

Archiveable films

1958- Big Deal On Madonna Street
1960- Rocco and His Brothers
1963- 8 1/2
1963- The Leopard
1963- The Pink Panther
1966- The Professionals
1968- Once Upon a Time in the West
1974- Conversation Piece
1982- Fitzcarraldo