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I clowns
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The Clowns (1970) (TV) More at IMDbPro »I clowns (original title)

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Overview

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7.2/10   1,205 votes »
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Release Date:
25 December 1970 (Italy) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A ragout of real memories and mockumentary, as Fellini explores a childhood obsession: circus clowns. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
4 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(22 articles)
Blu-ray Review: 'I Clowns'
 (From CineVue. 27 October 2014, 4:25 PM, PDT)

Eureka Announces Winter 2014 Slate: Thief Of Bagdad, Les Miserables, Intolerance, Blacula & More!
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Blu-ray, DVD Release: La Dolce Vita
 (From Disc Dish. 22 July 2014, 10:40 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
a semi documentary extravaganza of, forgive the expression, Felliniesque proportions! See more (8 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Riccardo Billi ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Billi)

Federico Fellini ... Himself
Gigi Reder ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Reder)
Tino Scotti ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Scotti)
Valentini ... Himself - Italian Clown
Fanfulla ... Himself - Italian Clown
Merli ... Himself - Italian Clown
Carlo Rizzo ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Rizzo)
Colombaioni ... Themselves - Italian Clowns (as I 4 Colombaioni)
Pistoni ... Himself - Italian Clown
Martana ... Themselves - Italian Clowns (as I Martana)
Giacomo Furia ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Furia)
Alvaro Vitali ... Himself (as The Troupe)
Dante Maggio ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Maggio)
Galliano Sbarra ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Sbarra)
Peppino Janigro ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Janigro)
Carini ... Himself - Italian Clown
Maunsell ... Himself - Italian Clown
Nino Terzo ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Terzo)
Osiride Pevarello ... Clown (as Peverello)
Nino Vingelli ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Vingelli)
Alberto Sorrentino ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Sorrentino)
Fumagalli ... Himself - Italian Clown
Valdemaro ... Himself - Italian Clown
Luigi Zerbinati ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Zerbinati)
Ettore Bevilacqua ... Himself - Italian Clown (as Bevilacqua)
Maya Morin ... Maya (La troupe)
Anna Lina Alberti ... Herself - Alvaro's mother (La troupe) (as Lina Alberti)
Gasparino ... Gasparino (La troupe)
Alex ... Himself - French Clown
Georges Loriot ... Himself - French Clown (as Père Loriot)
Maïs ... Himself - French Clown
Bario ... Himself - French Clown
Ludo ... Himself - French Clown
Nino ... Himself - French Clown
Charlie Rivel ... Himself

Pierre Étaix ... Himself
Annie Fratellini ... Herself
Victor Fratellini ... Himself
Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée ... Himself (as Baptiste)
Tristan Remy ... Himself
Liana Orfei ... Herself
Rinaldo Orfei ... Himself
Nando Orfei ... Himself
Franco Migliorini ... Himself - Animal Tamer

Anita Ekberg ... Herself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maria Grazia Buccella ... Herself (uncredited)
Victoria Chaplin ... Herself (uncredited)
Liliana Chiari ... Herself (uncredited)
Dante Cleri ... Fascist (uncredited)
Shirley Corrigan ... Audience member (uncredited)
Feverello ... Himself - Italian Clown (uncredited)
Gustavo Fratellini ... Himself - Italian Clown (uncredited)
Adelina Poerio ... Dwarf nun (uncredited)

Directed by
Federico Fellini 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Federico Fellini 
Bernardino Zapponi 

Produced by
Ugo Guerra .... producer
Elio Scardamaglia .... producer
 
Original Music by
Nino Rota 
 
Cinematography by
Dario Di Palma 
 
Film Editing by
Ruggero Mastroianni 
 
Production Design by
Lamberto Pippia 
 
Costume Design by
Danilo Donati 
 
Art Department
Italo Tomassi .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Italo Cameracanna .... foley artist
Italo Cameracanna .... sound effects editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Blasco Giurato .... camera operator
Claudio Sabatini .... assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Edoardo Romani .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Carlo Savina .... conductor
 
Other crew
Roberto Bertea .... voice dubbing (uncredited)
Carla Comaschi .... voice dubbing (uncredited)
Oreste Lionello .... voice dubbing (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"I clowns" - Italy (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
92 min
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Alex in Wonderland (1970)See more »

FAQ

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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
a semi documentary extravaganza of, forgive the expression, Felliniesque proportions!, 1 October 2007
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

The Clowns might be the most wonderfully experimental of the obscure Federico Fellini films. Now depressingly only available on shoddy old videos from the 1980s (where, unintentionally on Fellini's part, the film skips a couple of times in jump cuts), it remains a testament to one of the director's life-long obsessions: the depravity, the joy, the delirium, and the choreography of the circus, particularly clowns in this case.

He opens the film with a particular image- a child watches outside his window as the circus tent is erected up, as if it were rising up from the ground like a tree- and then goes head-first into a circus performance. While it shouldn't be very funny, somehow it is, extremely so, in all the silliest ways that are partly Fellini in the timing of the shots and how buoyant the camera goes, and in the Nino Rota score (which, by the way, borrows from all the standards of circus fare, and as self-referentiality is the name of the game from 8 1/2 in the Wagner choice), and partly from the clowns themselves.

After a quick kaleidoscope view of a neighborhood with certain citizens, like a pool-hall man who's kind except for when he goes into a crazy state once in a while and acts like he's in war, Fellini changes gears, though not exactly. Like Herzog, and just as personally, we see a form of a documentary take shape, and not really at the same time. Fellini seems to be making a documentary on clowns, the history of them, interviews with the old masters from France and Italy and Germany, and visiting what remains of the great old sites and rare silent film reels. But then we see the camera is shooting *them* (them being the crew) shooting the documentary, and not in a usual documentary way: it's still a 'Fellini' film, meaning it has the self-indulgence of Fellini's narration, the dialog sometimes colliding into what the last person said, and in sweet gliding camera movements that seem to be flying on air.

What happens from this is that what could be just sheer indulgent flair turns into a creatively self-conscious work of personal film-making; we all know how wrapped up Fellini is in all of this, and without calling too much attention to it he's relaxed and humorous about it. See the great moment, in the midst of the climax, when he cuts to himself, being interviewed by some journalist, asked what is the 'message' he wants to convey with this film, and immediately after this buckets fall on Fellini and the journalists' heads. And as Fellini is technically doing a documentary, we get a superb whirlwind of showing and telling on the part of the clowns. We see them at how they work, with tigers and with big props, the midgets, the eternal pranksters, and how they look back on their times (one says he just can't look back anymore).

But what's most brilliant is how Fellini kind of answers his own hypothesis, which he comes to after viewing an all-too-short silent film of the clown Remy- that the circus is dead- by having a twenty-five minute long sequence where clowns deal with death, the widows, the resurrection, and just pure celebration. By the time it reaches its apex we're in the midst of one of the grandest of Fellini's orchestrated acts of abstract art, where clowns are running amok, the 'special effects' are going to a point (won't that 'horse' get in place!), and Rota's music seems to be going so fast one might see him off-screen with Fellini as his hands are on fire.

So why not a masterpiece? It is, in a sense, great more as a minor work than as something towering in the cinematic consciousness like La Dolce Vita or 8 1/2. It's also a little difficult to judge it as it now stands in its deteriorated state, as ten seconds of film in different spots seems to be jettisoned. But it is essential viewing for any Fellini fan, and for anyone who loves the circus as much as he does. And for someone like myself, who occasionally finds clowns a little too creepy and wacky for their own good, Fellini's contribution, however brief it is in 93 minutes, is unequivocal.

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