Il Bidone (The Swindle) (The Swindlers) (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

Il Bidone (The Swindle) (The Swindlers)1955

Il Bidone (The Swindle) (The Swindlers) (1955)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Il Bidone (The Swindle) (The Swindlers) Photos

Movie Info

Fellini's wry study of three con men (Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart, Franco Fabrizi) and their exploits. Giulietta Masina, Lorella De Luca, Giacomo Gabrelli. Originally titled "Il Bidone."


Maria Zanoli
as Stella Florina
Ettore Bevilaqua
as Swindled Man
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Critic Reviews for Il Bidone (The Swindle) (The Swindlers)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

An obvious cheap-crime picture, very much on the sentimental side, and therefore thematically inferior to the two films it fell between. But it contains some very strong Fellini phases and accumulations of moods that make it well worth seeing.

June 15, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The most obscure film of the highly visible Federico Fellini.

February 15, 2004 | Full Review…

The progression from comedy to tragedy signals Fellini's most religious work

November 15, 2009 | Full Review…

A very dark vision that isn't always pleasant to look at but is nonetheless fascinating.

August 29, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

It's an unforgettable treasure.

December 2, 2001 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Il Bidone (The Swindle) (The Swindlers)

This forgotten Fellini classic - which was initially a flop in Italy and also in the USA - is a poignant and heartbreaking character study that manages to make us feel pity and sympathy towards the worst kind of swindler, the one who deceives and takes money from the poor.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

One of Fellini's least remembered films, "Il Bidone" is a wobbly tale about three con men who pursue some truly appalling schemes to bilk peasants out of their slim savings. Augusto (Broderick Crawford) feels uneasy about still scrambling for small-time games at his advanced age, and has a soft spot for a teen daughter whom he rarely sees. "Picasso" (Richard Basehart) has a good wife (the always wonderful Giulietta Masina) and dreams of becoming a painter, but is not as talented as he thinks. And Roberto (Franco Fabrizi) hopes to become a singer like his idol Johnny Ray. Their shenanigans include selling phony apartment reservations to slum-dwellers, exchanging shoddy coats for gas and an elaborate scheme which involves posing as priests and planting a worthless buried treasure on someone's property. Essentially, they pull the typical move of exploiting others' greed, and getting them to hand over money based on false promises of a bigger payoff later. The three are on shaky ground, however, and even their underworld peers don't always respect them. This is memorably shown in a scene at a richer criminal's posh party, where Roberto breaks rank to swipe a gold cigarette case and gets his whole group ostracized as a result. This incident somewhat foreshadows the film's depressing climax, where Augusto faces what could be his ultimate crisis of conscience. The script poorly wraps up its dangling threads, casually dropping Picasso and and Roberto from the story before the final act. And yes, Nino Rota composed the score as usual, but it's fairly humdrum beyond the opening theme. For an early Fellini film about regional seediness, you're better off choosing "Nights of Cabiria" or "I Vitelloni."

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer


don't feel like writing about it.

Joey Nevarez
Joey Nevarez

Super Reviewer

Il Bidone (The Swindle) (The Swindlers) Quotes

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