Il bidone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Il bidone
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Federico Fellini
Produced by Mario Derecchi
Screenplay by Federico Fellini
Ennio Flaiano
Tullio Pinelli
Starring Broderick Crawford
Richard Basehart
Giulietta Masina
Music by Nino Rota
Cinematography Otello Martelli
Edited by Mario Serandrei
Giuseppe Vari
Société Générale de Cinématographie
Distributed by Titanus Distribuzione
Release date
Running time
109 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Il bidone (also known as The Swindle or The Swindlers) is a 1955 Italian film directed by Federico Fellini. It features Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart and Giulietta Masina.

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.[1]


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.



Critical response[edit]

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."[2] The film also has a 100% rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes from 6 reviewers.




Il bidone had a notable influence on Giuseppe Tornatore's 1995 film, L'Uomo delle Stelle — about a con man who defrauds Sicilian peasants with dreams of becoming movie stars in Rome.


  1. ^ Cowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, November 20, 1964. Last accessed: January 26, 2008.
  2. ^ Cowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, November 20, 1964. Last accessed: January 26, 2008.

External links[edit]