The 50s Were Fellini’s Decade: “Il Bidone”

Il bidone

Il bidone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Il Bidone (The Swindler) is a notable Federico Fellini film from 1955.

Broderick Crawford stars as a member of a trio of crooks, cheating people out of their money in less than prosperous Italian towns.  The Crawford character is forty-eight years old and has a daughter he rarely sees, and, as critic Vernon Young pointed out, he is “a lonely swindler” (my italics).  Plus, because of his conscience, he is running out of steam, but not yet ready to let go of degeneracy.  Not at all.

Albeit not a great Fellini movie, Il Bidone is truthful and pretty incisive.  A little less humanistic than, say, I Vitelloni and Nights of Cabiria (man, thou art vile), it also presents fewer circus-and-Catholicism motifs than those pics.  Seeing Giulietta Masina, a Fellini regular (and ex-wife), in this movie nicely erased my memory of her in the last F.F. movie I saw her in: the terrible Juliet of the Spirits. 

(In Italian with English subtitles)



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