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Between the international triumphs of La strada and Nights of Cabiria, Federico Fellini made this fascinatingly unique film, which has been long overlooked. Largely eschewing the poetic flourishes of the more famous works that bookend it, Il bidone is a dark neorealist crime drama starring a commanding Broderick Crawford as one of the most complex characters in the director’s canon: an aging con man who, having made a career preying on the desperation of poor peasants, suddenly finds that his crooked ways have begun to catch up with him. Masterfully entwining the story’s human grit with elements of humor and pathos, Fellini crafts a searing portrait of a man reckoning with the consequences of his life’s choices that hits with the force of a profound moral tragedy.

  • Year
    1955
  • Runtime
    113 minutes
  • Language
    Italian
  • Country
    Italy
  • Director
    Federico Fellini
  • Screenwriter
    Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli
  • Cast
    Broderick Crawford, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart
  • Cinematographer
    Otello Martelli