1953, Federico Fellini, Drama/Classic
LENGTH: 104 min
FORMATS: 35mm & Retail DVD
LANGUAGE: Italian w/English subtitles
DIRECTOR: Federico Fellini
CAST: Franco Interlenghi, Alberto Sordi, France Fabrizi, Leopoldo Trieste, Riccardo Fellini, Leonora Ruffo, Jean Brochard, Claude Farell, Carlo Romano, Enrico Viarision, Paola Borboni, Lida Baarová, Arlette Sauvage, Vira Silenti
CREW: SCREENWRITER: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano; STORY: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli
DISTRIBUTED BY: THE CRITERION COLLECTION
Although an early Fellini film, many regard this as his finest work. Toughest of all critics, John Simon, in his book, Private Screenings states, “I Vitelloni is a masterpiece, one of the ten or twelve great films ever made.” Martin Scorsese in his documentary Il Mio Viaggio in Italia is a great admirer of this early work and says, “I Vitelloni was a major inspiration for my picture Mean Streets back in 1973 and continues to be so to this day. For me, it captures the bittersweet emotions of a moment that eventually comes for everyone, the moment you realize you can either grow up or forever be a child.”
Elbert Ventura of Rovi flawlessly sums up the film:
“Italian maestro Federico Fellini’s first international success is a nakedly autobiographical film that bears many of the formal and thematic concerns that recur throughout his work. Set in the director’s hometown of Rimini, I Vitelloni follows the lives of five young vitelloni, or layabouts, who while away their listless days in their small seaside village. Fausto (Franco Fabrizi), the leader of the pack, marries his sweetheart, but finds himself constantly distracted by other women. Meanwhile, would-be playwright Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste) continues work on his dreary plays, dreaming of staging them one day. Clownish Alberto (Alberto Sordi) still lives at home with his mother and sister, Olga (Claude Farell), while boasting of preserving the family honor by watching over her. While the movie seems to pay little attention to Riccardo (Riccardo Fellini) and Moraldo (Franco Interlenghi), the latter eventually emerges as its key character, plainly serving as Fellini’s alter ego. Stuck in adolescence, the five friends stumble into various misadventures, as they seek to spice up their uneventful provincial lives. Ultimately, one of them breaks free from their self-imposed paralysis and moves on, leading to one of the most poignant farewell sequences in film history. A hit in Italy upon its release, I Vitelloni secured Fellini’s reputation as an up-and-coming talent, while also introducing its title into Italian vernacular.”
The New York Times
By A.O. Scott
“It shows all of Fellini’s unrivaled virtues – his lyrical sense of place, his abiding affection for even the most hapless of his characters, his effortless knack for limpid, bustling composition – and very few of his putative vices.”
The Los Angeles Times
By Kevin Thomas
“It was this ineffably poignant semi-autobiographical reverie that unleashed fully Fellini’s shimmering, flowing poetic style.”
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