Cinecitta, the huge movie studio outside Rome, is 50 years old and Fellini is interviewed by a Japanese TV crew about the films he has made there over the years as he begins production on ... See full summary »
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.
Amelia and Pippo are reunited after several decades to perform their old music-hall act (imitating Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) on a TV variety show. It's both a touchingly nostalgic ... See full summary »
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
The middle chapter in Fellini's "trilogy of loneliness"
The middle chapter in Fellini's "trilogy of loneliness", made by a master between "La Strada" (1954), and "Nights of Cabiria," (1957), "Il Bidone" (1955) is less known, for long time simply forgotten (and I can't imagine why) but powerful, humorous, heartbreaking, and poignant film. Broderick Crawford, Academy Award winner for playing Willie Stark, a corrupt politician and a charismatic man in "All the King's Men" (1949), gives a compelling performance as Augusto, an aging con man, a leader of a trio of small time crooks who take advantage of poor and uneducated Italians in both country side and poor quarters of Rome. Augusto realizes at the age of 48 that his life of selfishness, greed, and wrongdoings only made his existence meaningless. Once in his life, he decided to con the con men in order to help his daughter whom he rarely sees but deeply loves with fulfilling her dreams of better life but a swindle gone wrong leads Augusto to the final scene of pain, both physical and mental, to loneliness and desperation. It is very much like "Nights of Cabiria" final scene but without eternal hope of Cabiria's smile
Technically, "Il Bidone" is a very strong film with memorable performances, including the smaller cameos. Fellini's directing is as satisfying as always and many scenes remind of his future triumphs (New Year party is a stunning sequence and brings to mind "La Dolce Vita", 1960 ). Nino Rota's music and Otello Martinelli's cinematography add to many pleasures of the film, one of them is Giulietta Masina who plays supporting role of Iris, the wife of Picasso (Richard Basehart), the younger con artist with a dream to become an Artist. Both, Masina and Basehart starred in Fellini's first chapter of "trilogy of loneliness", "La Strada" (1954).
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