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The Independent Critic

Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart, Giulietta Masina, Franco Fabrizi
Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli
112 Mins.
Eureka Entertainment

 "Il Bidone" Gets Exquisite Treatment by Eureka Entertainment 
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If you've been following The Independent Critic for any length of time, then you likely are already aware of my passion for all things Fellini. So, you can probably imagine my joy upon hearing that U.K.-based Eureka Entertainment was adding Fellini's Il Bidone, the second film in his Loneliness Trilogy, to their exquisitely produced Masters of Cinema Series.

I offered to review it, of course. Inside, I was not so secretly begging to do so.

I wasn't disappointed.

Deemed by many to be Fellini's weakest film within the trilogy, despite having what many consider to be one of Broderick Crawford's finest performances, Il Bidone, translated as The Swindle, is one of Fellini's most emotionally rich works and followed one of his most well known, La Strada. The film follows three small-time crooks - the aging Augusto (Broderick Crawford), Picasso (Richard Basehart), and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi). The three prey upon the poor for modest gains. When Augusto is reunited with his daughter (Giuletta Masina), the moral and emotional demands of the path he has chosen begin to wear on him and cause him to question his choices.

With extraordinary set pieces and a trio of fine performances, Il Bidone has long been one of Fellini's more under-appreciated films and yet is an exceptional choice for Eureka's Masters of Cinema series. Some have referred to the film as Fellini's darkest examination of human nature, yet Fellini balances that darkness with his usual comic sensibility and a tremendous sense of heart that lasts long after one has watched the film.

This special release includes a wealth of extras including:

  • Special Dual-Format Blu-Ray/DVD Edition
  • Interview w/Dominique Delouche
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • 36-Page Booklet featuring Fellini's words and rare images
  • and More!

It should be noted, as well, that this version of Il Bidone is Fellini's original cut of the film and not the shorter, less impactful American version that ran nearly 20 minutes shorter. Thus, with the incredible remastering of the film you're also very much getting the film that Fellini wanted you to see.

I highly recommend you see it.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic   

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