Although billed as the centrepiece of his “Trilogy of Loneliness” (bookended by La Strada and Nights of Cabiria), Federico Fellini’s Il Bidone should be remembered more for its satirical examination of a corrupt post-war Italian society. With a masterful story that follows three small-time conmen – Augusto (Broderick Crawford), Picasso (Richard Basehart), and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi) – as they prey upon Italy’s poor country farmers and city slum-dwellers, Fellini mischievously compares his swindlers to Catholic priests – the conmen dress as priests to fleece poor farmers out of their hard earned money in exchange for buried treasure purportedly worth millions – and city officials – in a wonderful set piece that sees the swindlers dress as housing committee officials in a ruse to con the city’s poor out of a deposit for council houses that were long since promised to the them. Fellini’s film remains a scathing, and successful, attack on the greed and selfishness that accompany status and power that I highly recommend.
Comedy, World Cinema, Drama
BD Release Date:
30th December 2013(UK)
Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart, Giulietta Masina
Buy: Il Bidone [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format [Blu-ray & DVD]