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Promotional Poster
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Produced by Alfredo Bini
Cino Del Duca
Written by Sergio Citti
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Starring Franco Citti
Franca Pasut
Silvana Corsini
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
Cinematography Tonino Delli Colli
Edited by Nino Baragli
Arco Film
Distributed by Brandon Films
Release dates
Running time
120 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Accattone is a 1961 Italian drama film written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Despite being filmed from an original screenplay, academics perceive Accattone as a cinematic rendition of Pasolini's earlier novels, particularly Boys of Life and A Violent Life.[1] It is Pasolini's first film as director, employing what would later be seen as trademark Pasolini characteristics; a cast of non-professional actors hailing from where the movie is set, and thematic emphasis on impoverished individuals.

While many people were surprised by Pasolini's shift from literature to film, he had considered attending the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome before WWII. Pasolini had collaborated with Federico Fellini on Le notti di Cabiria and considered cinema to be writing with reality. The word "Accattone" is a slang term mainly used for beggars, referring to people who never do well, who are lazy, and who rarely hold down a job.[citation needed]

Accattone is a story of pimps, prostitutes and thieves, the same topic as his novels. Peasant culture is celebrated, in contrast to Italy's postwar economic reforms. Pasolini’s choice of topics was scandalous, as was his blurring of the lines between the sacred and the profane. Although Pasolini tried to distance himself from neorealism, the film is considered to be a kind of second neorealism, with one critic believing it "may be the grimmest movie" he'd ever seen.[2]


Vittorio (Franco Citti), nicknamed "Accattone" (meaning 'beggar' in Italian), leads a mostly serene life as a pimp until his prostitute, Maddalena, is hurt by his rivals and sent to prison. Finding himself without a steady income, and not much inclination for working himself, he discovers the naive Stella and tries to lure her into prostituting herself for him. She is willing to try, but when a client begins pawing her she cries and gets out of the car. Accattone tries to support her, but gives up on honest labor after one day, and following a bizarre vision of his own death, is killed in a traffic accident when he tries to evade the police on a stolen motorcycle.


  • Franco Citti as Vittorio "Accattone" Cataldi
  • Franca Pasut as Stella
  • Silvana Corsini as Maddalena
  • Paola Guidi as Ascenza
  • Adriana Asti as Amore
  • Luciano Conti as Il Moicano
  • Luciano Gonini as Piede D'Oro
  • Renato Capogna as Renato
  • Alfredo Leggi as Papo Hirmedo
  • Galeazzo Riccardi as Cipolla
  • Leonardo Muraglia as Mammoletto
  • Giuseppe Ristagno as Peppe
  • Roberto Giovannoni as The German
  • Mario Cipriani as Balilla
  • Roberto Scaringella as Cartagine
  • Silvio Citti as Sabino
  • Monica Vitti (uncredited) as Ascenza (voice)


Franco Citti was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor in 1963 for his title role.[3]


  1. ^ Moliterno, Gino (February 2004). "Accattone". Senses of Cinema Inc. Archived from the original on 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  2. ^ Barbaro, Nick (January 19, 2001). "Che Bella: Italian Neorealism and the Movies -- and the AFS Series -- It Inspired". The Austin Chronicle. Archived from the original on 7 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  3. ^ Accattone (1961) - Awards

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