alr

I vitelloni

Directed by Federico Fellini.
With Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi.
Italy/France, 1953, DCP, black & white, 108 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
DCP source: Luce Cinecittà, Cineteca di Bologna and Cineteca Nazionale

Opening with an end-of-summer beauty pageant that’s interrupted by a thunderstorm, I vitelloni carries that same sense of faded splendor through the rest of its year-long narrative timeline, which charts the trajectory of a quartet of wastrels as they shirk adult responsibility in the modest seaside town of their childhood. Introduced in a voiceover narration that only sporadically returns for wistful summarization, the discontented bunch includes the youthful lush Alberto (Alberto Sordi), the doomed poet Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste), the stoic and restless Moraldo (Franco Interlenghi), and the unrepentant womanizer Fausto (Franco Fabrizi), whose nightly whims become the gravitational center holding together a loose cluster of subplots. The provincial setting, adjacent to the Adriatic, marks I vitelloni as the first of Fellini’s transparently autobiographical projects, and, as such, it is a film saturated in nostalgia and tenderness—for the charming town rituals, for the pool hall and movie palace, for the windswept tranquility of the streets after last call, and, above all, for the lost innocence. Consequently, the film’s overarching compassion for its subjects lets Fausto off the hook for his worst excesses, but, in the end, it is Moraldo who emerges as Fellini’s soulful surrogate.

ORDER TICKETS

Part of film series

Read more

The Complete Federico Fellini

Other film series with this film

Read more

The Divine Comedy of Federico Fellini

Read more

Martin Scorsese’s Voyage in Italy

Read more

Eight Weeks of Film History: 1940 - 1959

Current and upcoming film series

Read more

Ousmane Sembène, Cinematic Revolutionary

Read more

Afterimage… For a New, Radical Cinema

Read more

This Is Us. Two Films by Hong Sangsoo

Read more

Harvard Undergraduate Cinematheque

Read more

Cotton Comes to Harlem. The Godfrey Cambridge Collection at Houghton

Read more

Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 2024 McMillan-Stewart Fellow

Read more

The Practice (and Other Works) By Martín Rejtman

Read more

Chronicles of Changing Times. The Cinema of Edward Yang

Read more
Gene Hackman crouched beside a toilet with audio equipment

From the HFA Collection...