In pre-World War II Sicily, just as the fascists come to power, two men fall in love with the same woman. The changes in their country's politics ultimately take all three on a journey across the ocean to New York.
Sofia, 20, lives with her parents in Casablanca. Following a denial of pregnancy, she finds herself illegally giving birth to a baby out of wedlock. The hospital leaves him 24h to provide ... See full summary »
In a town on the French Riviera, detective Yvonne is the young widow of police chief Santi, a local hero. When she realizes her husband was not exactly the model of virtue so idolized by ... See full summary »
Before Dawn charts the years of exile in the life of famous Jewish Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, his inner struggle for the "right attitude" toward the events in war torn Europe, and his search for a new home.
Nahuel Pérez Biscayart
Aging small-time con man Augusto, who swindles peasants, works with two younger men: Roberto, who wants to become the Italian Johnny Ray, and Bruno, nicknamed Picasso, who has a wife and daughter and wants to paint. Augusto avoids the personal entanglements, spending money at clubs seeking the good life. His attitude changes when he runs into his own daughter, whom he rarely sees, and realizes she's now a young woman and in need of his help to continue her studies. His usual partners are away, so he goes in with others to run a swindle, and they aren't forgiving when he claims he's given the money back to their mark. They leave him beaten, robbed, and alone.Written by
When Augusto and his daughter are sitting in the open-air café, the watch he is giving to his daughter jumps from his hand to on her wrist immediately. See more »
You give your wife every cent! Jerk!
[Trying to get approval]
But, Augusto, I...
People like us can't have families. One must be free to move. You can't have a wife. You must be alone. The most important thing when you're young is freedom. It's more important thn the air you breathe. You're scared now! What will you do when you're my age?
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The DVD released by Image Entertainment in 2001 is 91 minutes. A 114-minute print of the film is circulating art houses and festivals (2003). See more »
Though I'd seen Il Bidone many years ago on TV, I didn't realise it was a Fellini film until the internet joined the dots between film titles and synopsises. I always did remember its starkness, its raw beauty and its redemptive narrative - and at last I bought the DVD and was reunited with this minor classic.
This is where the re-watch proved its worth - the multi-layers of post- war Italian society; its Catholicism fighting at odds with poverty and corruption. The characters interweave their human stories to take us on various personal journeys. Fellini's attempt to include American actors as the male leads, dubbed, fooled me - the oft drawling Broderick Crawford seemed perfect as the guilt-weary protagonist (aka The Swindler) who in actuality was often drunk on set.
For me, the audacious nature of the Swindlers in action, abusing the Catholic position of power by posing as high clergy and conning penniless peasants was bold; certainly for its time. Re-watching brought the trademark Fellini wild party in full swing - as wild and spirited as any he's staged - all rather sickened and over-the-top; portrayed as being funded by immoral, criminal money and in total pursuit of power and hedonism. The ending is one of those that etches itself into your psyche, both haunting and provocative.
However, unlike most 'popular' Fellini films, the leads aren't that likable and one doesn't rally with them in the way of, say, Cabiria or La Strada. That maybe explains why this Fellini isn't generally known, or loved. It's actually rather closer to La Dolce Vita in tone and could be seen as a precursor to that classic.
Il Bidone isn't the easiest film to watch and has its faults; a jarring narrative and inconsistencies that one accepts from amateur crowds on location. But this does add up to a naturally buzzing and strident film, balanced by occasional poignant moments of tenderness as consciences are so sorely pricked, it's heartbreaking.
So, if you're into Fellini, don't let this one pass you by. The director is in his prime here, as voyeur and narrator rather than the self-satisfied but still genius of his indulgent 8 and a half.
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