Federico Fellini followed up his iconic breakthrough La strada with this brilliant drama - an unsparing look at the dog-eat-dog values of post war Italian society that nonetheless manages to navigate expertly between the lightly comic and the emotionally stark to become one of his richest, most moving works.
Il bidone [The Swindle] follows three small-time conmen - the ageing Augusto (Broderick Crawford), "Picasso" (Richard Basehart), and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi) - as they prey upon the poor and gullible for modest gains. However, once Augusto is unexpectedly reunited with his daughter, now struggling with her studies, the moral and emotional demands of his lifestyle begin to take their toll sooner than he had anticipated.
With its masterful set pieces and host of superb performances (including the director's wife and muse Giuletta Masina), this forms the centrepiece of what has been termed Fellini's "Trilogy of Loneliness" (with bookending films La strada and Le notti di Cabiria), and may be the darkest examination of human nature he ever attempted. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this long-undervalued classic in a new high-definition restoration.
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Another masterpiece from the Maestro, a film you cinephiles out there should see, sustained by a marvellous script and a powerful direction. This MoC edition presents a very good restoration albeit there are some flaws in two or three scenes (eg. at the new year's party). In particular, it seems the images are too digital but, to me, it's not a big deal. The italian audio track is clean and clear. Optional english subtitles are available. The only extra feature is the interview with Dominique Delouche, Fellini's assistant for Il Bidone, Le Notti di Cabiria and La Dolce Vita. The interview is in french with optional english subtitles and it's really interesting. Recommended.
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