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I Vitelloni - Criterion Collection
I Vitelloni - Criterion Collection
Actors: Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Vittorio Boarini, Franco Interlenghi, Tullio Kezich
Director: Federico Fellini
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
UR     2004     1hr 47min

Five young men linger in post-adolescent limbo dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Vittorio Boarini, Franco Interlenghi, Tullio Kezich
Director: Federico Fellini
Creators: Federico Fellini, Enrico Sirianni, Issa Clubb, Jacques Bar, Kim Hendrickson, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/24/2004
Original Release Date: 11/07/1956
Theatrical Release Date: 11/07/1956
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Italian
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

A Candid and Warm Cinematic Event...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 09/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Trapped in a timeless sphere without pressure of accomplishment, maternal love nurses five men way past their adolescence in a small tourist town by the Adriatic Sea in post-war Italy. These five men drift around dreaming of an escape from the town, but a lack of motivation keeps them prisoners at the seaside location. The mutual motivations for the five men that keeps them adrift are women, wine, and the stories they tell each other. However, each character has his own motivating factor that drives him forward in daily life.

The group of the five men consists of Fausto (Franco Fabrizi), Alberto (Alberto Sordi), Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste), Riccardo (Riccardo Fellini), and Moraldo. The group's leader Fausto, a perpetual flirter, has gotten a young beautiful woman pregnant. Fausto's father insists that he do the right thing and marry the girl before she is disgraced in public. The lazy Alberto is the groups clown who is dependent on his mother whom he will never leave. Alberto frequently pleads for money from his sister as he is continuously broke. Eventually Alberto finds out that his sister has a married lover and it angers him. Leopold an aspiring writer and the intellectual of the group dreams of fame and success. The singer Riccardo follows the group on its nightly adventures. Moraldo is a philosophical moralist that wanders the streets at night deep in thought as he sees faults in the way they all live life. However, Moraldo has not yet found the courage to leave the small seaside town.

I Vitelloni is the second film that Fellini directed by himself which he also co-wrote with his talented brother, Riccardo Fellini. Riccardo and Federico based the script on semi-autographical accounts from their home town and a life which they both were very much inclined to depict. Unlike many of Fellini's later films I Vitelloni displays some of the Italian neo-realistic cinematic qualities that were common in the period when the film was shot. The realism brings an honest and warm atmosphere to the film which emphasizes the true nature of the characters. Realism in the script allows the audience is to experience an examination of the different characters in the film. This character study brings the audience candid emotions and a brilliant cinematic experience that warms the heart as there are hopes and dreams for us all.
Neorealism hits a comfortable stride
Heavy Theta | Lorton, Va United States | 12/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A group of middle class "yoots" hang out together, bonded by common roots and experience, but also by the process of self-discovery as the onset of adulthood face them with the coming of responsibility and the isolation of individuality. The focus of this fracturing process falls on one guy who discovers that his girlfriend is pregnant. If the plot sounds familiar, well it's because coming of age is a universal experience that crosses generations and cultures, and rarely fails to to produce an intense sense of nostalgia.

What differentiates Fellini's film (beyond the fact that it pre-dates similar fair from the French New Wave, British 60's, Graffiti-Flatbush-Diner, etc. whose original accessibility make them more familiar) is simply the sheer talent of the story-teller. The man could present characters and situations that still move and enlighten us. His later, more famous epics of excess were well grounded in this same exquisite sense of humanity. This is the first excellent film by one of film's most excellent directors."
The Master Looks Back To His Roots
Uncle Borges | Via Lungomare 6 | 02/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Fellini's most intimate and most autobiographical film. Set in his hometown of Rimini, at the Adriatic coast, it masterfully captures the spirit of place then and now. Also, it's the key work to explain the Northern Mediterrenean phenomenon of the "mamma's boys" (the said I Vitelloni from the title): the relaxed, sophisticated boys of Southern Europe who just rather do nothing (la Dolce Vita) and stay at home, often well into their 30's and 40's. The wintertime of course brings with it the tedium of provincial life in which nothing happens, but lo and behold, come next spring, the wonderful women from the North will come once again and worship the race that knows how to live and enjoys life the way it finds it."
An Iconic Landmark
John Sollami | Stamford, CT | 01/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Barry Levinson's "Diner" must have been inspired by this ground-breaking work of genius from 1953 written by Federico Fellini. Both "I Vitelloni" and "Diner" are about five males who linger somewhere between childhood and manhood, sensing the greater world beyond their small domain, but who are incapable of breaking out of the protective comfort of what they know so well. Both directors are known to have given their actors little in the way of direction. Both accepted their actors on their own terms, as the people they were, and let them embody the characters they played as naturally as water embraces the shape of the objects it fills. For me, "I Vitelloni" is by far the greater work. It's the template from which every other work about aimless youth has been pressed. Much of what takes place in this movie is autobiographical, and some of it is coaxed from Fellini's dreams and passions. As a great artist, Fellini changed the way we see ourselves, and the word "vitelloni" itself became a new expression for soft, well-fed young people with no direction. Only his second film, the first being the box-office flop "The White Sheik," starring Alberto Sordi, Fellini took his sweet time putting this together. He shot it over a period of four months in various locations, none of which was Rimini, the city of his youth. He was just 30 years old, full of wit, spontaneity, humor, and joy, all of which would slowly fade away with the oncoming years. Alberto Sordi again appears here, even though he was obviously not liked by the viewing public, but he is triumphant as Alberto. In fact, there isn't a weak performance anywhere to be found in this fantastic cast. Entertaining from the opening moment to the closing poignant scene, this masterpiece is all about a specific group of young Italian men, almost a leisure class supported by their families, who must come to terms with women, their dreams, their families, and themselves. And it is about a much larger theme: what makes up a meaningful life? For one character who eventually leaves this small town, Moraldo, the search itself for meaning draws him away. Moraldo is, in fact, a stand-in for Fellini, as he left Rimini at the age of 17 to seek his fortunes in Rome. What meaning he found was in his cinematic art, his writing, and his directing. We are privileged to bear witness to that genius by viewing the treasures that sprang from his mind.
And in particular, this version of the movie on "The Criterion Collection," put out in 2004, provides us with wonderful insights into this work as well as informative interviews from original cast members and the assistant director. I personally couldn't ask for more.
If you want to see a true cinematic masterpiece, get this movie. If you don't like it, check to see if you're still breathing."