I Vitelloni (1953)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Italian maestro Federico Fellini's first international success is a nakedly autobiographical film that bears many of the formal and thematic concerns that recur throughout his work. Set in the director's hometown of Rimini, I Vitelloni follows the lives of five young vitelloni , or layabouts, who while away their listless days in their small seaside village. Fausto (Franco Fabrizi), the leader of the pack, marries his sweetheart, but finds himself constantly distracted by other women. Meanwhile, would-be playwright Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste) continues work on his dreary plays, dreaming of staging them one day. Clownish Alberto (Alberto Sordi) still lives at home with his mother and sister, Olga (Claude Farell), while boasting of preserving the family honor by watching over her. While the movie seems to pay little attention to Riccardo (Riccardo Fellini) and Moraldo (Franco Interlenghi), the latter eventually emerges as its key character, plainly serving as Fellini's alter ego. Stuck in adolescence, the five friends stumble into various misadventures, as they seek to spice up their uneventful provincial lives. Ultimately, one of them breaks free from their self-imposed paralysis and moves on, leading to one of the most poignant farewell sequences in film history. A hit in Italy upon its release, I Vitelloni secured Fellini's reputation as an up-and-coming talent, while also introducing its title into Italian vernacular.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
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Janus Films

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Franco Fabrizi
as Fausto Moretti
Alberto Sordi
as Alberto
Leonora Ruffo
as Sandra Rubini
Franco Interlenghi
as Moraldo Rubini
Leopoldo Trieste
as Leopoldo
Riccardo Fellini
as Riccardo
Lida Baarova
as Guilia
Arlette Sauvage
as Woman in the Cinema
Maja Nipora
as Actress
Jean Brochard
as Father of Fausto
Claude Farere
as Sister of Alberto
Carlo Romano
as Michele
Enrico Viarisio
as Sandra's Father
Paola Borboni
as Sandra's Mother
Achille Majerone
as Head of a Theatre Troup
Silvio Bagolini
as Giudizio
Vira Silenti
as Leopoldo's "Chinese" Date
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Critic Reviews for I Vitelloni

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (11)

Offers us the rare chance to witness a filmmaker becoming a master filmmaker, as well as the birth of an important relationship with composer Nino Rota.

June 10, 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

What stays fresh (and enhanced by the beautifully restored black- and-white print) is how so many of Fellini's gifts and obsessions are already apparent in this early work.

April 23, 2004
Denver Post
Top Critic

It was this ineffably poignant semiautobiographical reverie that unleashed fully Fellini's shimmering, flowing poetic style.

Full Review… | March 25, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

One of the screen's great portrayals of the hell-raising and malaise of young men in their 20s.

February 19, 2004
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

If you have warm memories of American Graffiti, Diner, Mean Streets or even TV's Seinfeld, you owe it to yourself to see the masterpiece that inspired them all.

Full Review… | February 12, 2004
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

A must-see for Fellini enthusiasts and a worthwhile investment for everyone else.

Full Review… | December 12, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for I Vitelloni

Having refined his directing skills, Fellini delivered this lyrical autobiographical story with a great cinematography and a breathtaking circus-like carnival scene, but its quasi-episodic structure makes it feel a bit unfocused, with unequal screen time devoted to each of the "vitelloni".

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Scorsese is obviously a fan of this Italian Neo-Realism classic. It's not my favorite, but it's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


my new favorite fellini. i'm not a huge fan of his later works but mean streets is all over this. hell, the very first scene was lifted for goodfellas. tho mainly a masterpiece of neorealism, fellini's later style is evident in the carnival scene among other whimsical touches and his signature dreamlike atmosphere is pervasive, albeit in the form of memory. that he can make us care so much about this group of pathetic slackers is amazing to me. i had to watch it again right away. so even if ur not a fan, u might want to give it a chance. hilarious and heartbreaking

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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