Accattone (The Procurer) (The Scrounger) (1961) - Rotten Tomatoes

Accattone (The Procurer) (The Scrounger) (1961)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A pimp from a remote, rural Italian province attempts to reform after falling in love with a virtuous young woman but soon faces disappointment and reverts to a life of violent crime. Nonprofessional actors and real locations add authenticity to this drama, the debut of acclaimed director Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Water Bearer Films Inc.

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Franco Citti
as Vittorio 'Accattone' Cataldi
Franca Pasut
as Stella
Silvana Corsini
as Maddalena
Paola Guidi
as Ascenza
Alfredo Leggi
as Papo Hirmedo
Luciano Conti
as Il Moicano
Luciano Gonini
as Piede D'Oro
Mario Cipriani
as Balilla
Jérôme Polidor
as Becchino
Adele Cambria
as Nannina
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Critic Reviews for Accattone (The Procurer) (The Scrounger)

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

This is a fascinating debut by writer-director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who has scripted some interesting pix.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Top Critic

The character of Accattone himself, self-destructive and conscious of his situation within a class from which he cannot escape, embodies many of the contradictions in Pasolini's lifetime of coming to terms with Marxism and Catholicism.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The result is uneven, but not without distinction.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

The brutality and frigid despair of this 1962 film have had a lasting impact on political filmmaking.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

At once squalid and exalted

Full Review… | February 6, 2012

Pasolini's first feature is a classic neorealist study of the Roman underworld of poverty and petty thievery.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for Accattone (The Procurer) (The Scrounger)


Like many of Pier Paolo Pasolini's other films, ACCATTONE is a depressing but absorbing look at the seedier, more unfortunate side of life.

Michael Troudt
Michael Troudt

An earthy Italian classic that finds a uniquely Christian grace amongst the pimps and prostitutes of that inhabit its story.

Gordon Briggs
Gordon Briggs

Accattone announces a director, Pier Paolo Pasolini, who is a haunting/haunted poet from his surroundings and realist, someone who wants to put his eye on the world without flinching on the details of how 'ordinary' (of the street) people speak and interact, how raw and uninhibited they can be, these being the guys on the streets who are vulgar and coarse at best and at worst are abusers of women. But at the same time what one comes away with is poetry in documentary form - it's another level of neo-realism, a little more like an urban story than a post-war treatise that still throbs with the importance of those in poverty. Anytime I hear the song Matthaus Passion I'll immediately contemplate those harsh images of Vittorio Accattone, being cast aside by his family for being a pimp, or that poor girl being beaten at night by that gang of men, which is something that elevates such hard scenes into art. Vittorio Accattone is the main character- charming and attractive, and also a perpetual scoundrel who also is a total outcast. He has a wife and kid(s), but is estranged from them by choice - her choice most likely - and he finds himself in big trouble once his main prostitute, Maddalena, is sent to prison for a bad informing job. It's after this we see Accatone on his potential path to redemption when he meets a supremely sweet and average girl from out of town, Stella, who he may eye as a new girl on the street... or perhaps not, as his attachment to her grows more and stronger, in spite of what and who are around him every day and night in the dirty province. He's someone we want to root for in being a better person, or, perhaps even, better at what he does. He's a tragic anti-hero in a New-Wave sort of sense, cool looking and aspiring to be modern and cool (and maybe he is, up to a point), but also poor and uneducated, so much so that being on the fringe and being called "PIMP!" is what he's been reduced to by default. The performance from Franco Citti is one thing that keeps the viewer locked in: he's so good here because he looks plucked right off the street by Pasolini, as would turn to be his method with choosing most of his 'actors' on camera. There's a reality to his interactions with his friends (so called) or his business associates. Some of their dialog and tones of speech aren't refined or look trained. At one point when Citti's Vittorio breaks down in tears- a sudden turn from a previous scene showing more attitude- is authentic, even as another actor could have possibly played it "better". It is what Pasolini wants, and he gets it, much in the same way he also gets a view of this side of Rome in a way that hasn't been seen before up until this time. His DP Tonino Delli Colli shoots simply often, and sometimes not so much - there's complexity, say, to a tracking shot in front of Accatone talking to a girl who is on a bicycle, or when we see the horrorshow of the men taking Maddalena at night in the middle of nowhere, the only lights starkly coming from the car. The effect is nothing short of a slow-burn. While a few of the actors do fall a bit too flat, and some scenes come close to lagging around (the editing might be the most significant flaw here), the raw emotion and fire in the subject matter keeps things fascinating. You want to see what happens with this young guy, and it's his tragedy that gets us absorbed, even as the Bach music abstracts the sorrow, and agonizing poetry of the streets, and it's this that makes it a classic. Only downside I must mention - if you live in the US, or happen to watch it on a DVD or online from Walter Bearer films, the print is just not very good. It's the sort where the white subtitles drop in and out of view depending on who's standing where in a frame. It's not totally detrimental, but some scenes become hard to follow due to the poor quality of the subtitles with the print. This, if for no other reason, demands the film receive the Criteron treatment.

Jack Gattanella
Jack Gattanella

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