Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Federico Fellini|
|Produced by||Mario Derecchi|
|Screenplay by||Federico Fellini
|Music by||Nino Rota|
|Edited by||Mario Serandrei
Société Générale de Cinématographie
|Distributed by||Titanus Distribuzione|
|Running time||109 minutes|
Released one year after the director's internationally successful La Strada, Il Bidone continues with many of the same socially conscious, neorealist-inspired themes while minimizing the poetic realism and extravagant vitality, that is today known as "felliniesque", in favor of a more pointed political stance.
The film follows the exploits of a group of swindlers, focusing on their aging leader Augusto, as they go about their "business," reaping both rewards and consequences.
It is episodic, with scenes of various swindles (such as dressing up as clergy to cheat an old woman out of her money, or pretending to be government workers to pull a con amongst the poor and homeless) followed by scenes of the aftermath.
- Broderick Crawford as Augusto
- Giulietta Masina as Iris
- Richard Basehart as Picasso
- Franco Fabrizi as Roberto
- Sue Ellen Blake as Anna
- Irene Cefaro as Marisa
- Alberto De Amicis as Rinaldo
- Lorella De Luca as Patrizia
- Giacomo Gabrielli as Il Baron Vargas
- Riccardo Garrone as Riccardo
Film critic Bosley Crowther gave the film a mixed review, calling it "a cheap crime thriller." He added, "For this film, which is often mentioned in estimations of the master's works, is notable as a false step in his movement toward the development of a type of story material ... But it contains some very strong Fellini phases and accumulations of moods that make it well worth seeing. And it is generally well played ... Broderick Crawford's performance as the swindler is heavy and sodden, with a particular flair for postured histrionics in the swindle scenes."
- Venice Film Festival: Golden Lion, Federico Fellini; 1955.