Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 3, 2009

IL BIDONE / THE SWINDLE (1955)


VARIETY LIGHTS/’50, THE WHITE SHEIK/’51, I VITELLONI/’53, LA STRADA/’54, IL BIDONE/’55, NIGHTS OF CABIRIA/’57, LA DOLCE VITA/’60: Fedrico Fellini had already turned out a decade of masterworks when 1963 found him molting from Fellini to Fellini-esque with 8 ½.  After that, the loss was considerable. But for our purposes, let's look again at the list above. IL BIDONE?, have you even heard of it? What’s it doing among such riches? Is it any good? Why is it forgotten? Broderick Crawford stars with Richard Basehart & Franco Fabrizi as a trio of con men who prey on the least of society, gullible rubes & the unsophisticated rural poor, with far-fetched scams of buried treasure and quick return investments. Giulietta Masina is marvelous as Basehart’s disapproving wife, she makes his faults almost likable, but the other swindlers we meet are truly despicable. The film is unexpectedly naturalistic & damning on these bottom-feeders, with hardly a speck of Fellini fancy or poesy to beguile. It died on release, but it’s anything but negligible. It’s more Jules Dassin than Fedrico, although a stupendously nasty New Year’s Eve party sequence is filled with enough heartless brilliance to presage LA DOLCE VITA’s depiction of ‘Il Boom,’ the big Italian economic post-War resurgence. With extra pluses for the great lens work from Otello Martelli & a typically memorable Nino Rota score, IL BIDONE earns it’s spot on the Fellini C.V.

No comments: