In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers.
Fausto Moretti, having seduced Sandra Rubini, the sister of his friend and companion Moraldo Rubini, is forced to marry her. After their honeymoon, he takes a job as a salesman of religious objects in a small shop. He isn't changed by his marriage and still looks for women, with his friends, when and where they can find them. He even tries to seduce the wife of his boss and is fired. After each episode, Sandra forgives him. He and his friends of similar temperament are content to be idle, chase girls and leave the work and job-hunting to others. After spending the night away from home with a girl, Sandra cannot forgive anymore and runs off with their child. Fausto and his friends search all over for them, fearing the worst.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #246. See more »
When Sandra is called up to receive the 'Miss Mermaid' sash, she is on the left of the screen, to the right of the compere. As the actress comes up to present the sash, Sandra is seen standing on the compere's left. But when the actress presents the sash, Sandra is back on the left, to the right of the compere. See more »
[to Leopoldo and his mates, who have gathered at Natali's dressing room to visit him]
Forgive the candle. In these second-rate theaters, they always steal the light bulbs. May I offer you a cigarette? They're domestic, you know. American cigarettes are very bad for you.
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The genesis of "I Vitelloni" occurred at a critical time for Federico Fellini. His previous film, "The White Sheik" had been met with such disappointment by critics and audiences that his directoral career was in jeopardy. So, with the need for a successful production on his head, Fellini decided to make a simple comedy...!
The simple story of the five "loafers" and "dreamers" could have been maudlin and trite, but in the hands of Fellini, the story unfolds like a beautiful flower as part of an overall powerful, moving experience. Few directors have communicated their personal vision and experience as intensely as did Fellini. While there is dispute as to whether there is a direct correlation of the character of Moraldo to Fellini himself, Fellini puts us comfortably into his shoes and we connect with Moraldo's frustrations, aspirations, and eventually, his exodus.
With "I Vitteloni", Fellini began to hit his stride of 10 years of greatness, culminating in "Otto e Mezzo". The episodic character exploration of the latter years isn't as dominant here, but the allusions to people, places, and things are presented in full force. The story is easier to follow than later films and is a more central part of the film. This coherence is easier to grasp, making it more accessible for the Fellini neophyte.
But, with all of the talk about Fellini, this is still a magnificent movie that stands on its own. See it.
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