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I Vitelloni [DVD] [1953]

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: alberto sordi, franco fabrizi
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Nouveaux
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Dec. 2012
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009WL8YQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,042 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Fellini's second solo directorial effort is a compassionate semi-autobiographical film detailing the lives of a group of young bloods (the 'young calves' of the title) drifting aimlessly and dreaming of escape from their life in provincial limbo in their small seacoast town. The film charts their restlessness and their respective rites of passage. Winner of the prestigious Silver Lion Award at the 1953 Venice Film Festival.

* Original Theatrical Trailer
* Picture Gallery

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
'I Vitelloni' is one of the key works in the career of legendary Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini; establishing his early style and attention to character detail, whilst simultaneously inspiring the scope and tone of his later films, Nights Of Cabiria and Amarcord. It's also one of the key-works of the Italian neo-realist movement, offering us an unpretentious and, to some extent, sympathetic portrait of working class Italy, with the stark black and white cinematography managing to find a sense of poetry and pathos in the lives of these wandering souls.
The film seems like an anachronism when compared to some of it's director's later projects, with 'I Vitelloni' making the most of it's static, almost-documentary-like camera perspectives and lingering scenes of quiet conversation... a world away from the carnival grotesques in films like Satyricon or Casanova. There are a few hints of the style that would develop, particularly in the use of composition, character, and overall theme, but for the most part, this is Fellini finding his feet. The depiction of the old seaside town here bares no relation to the gaudy Technicolor fabrication of Amarcord, though it's certainly as lovingly rendered; with Fellini offering empathy and compassion to his characters who, like Mastroianni in his more celebrated films, mostly come across as lazy, feckless, arrogant and chauvinistic. Despite these character flaws however, Fellini is still able to make us understand these characters and feel compassion towards them. By involving us, as an audience, within their everyday lives, conversations, relationships and deepest desires, we feel almost initiated within the group and ultimately end up captivated by their lazy, directionless charm.
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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 Jan. 2008
Format: DVD
I Vitelloni signalled Fellini's move away from neo-realism, with all the trademarks (dwarves, older women, outrageous costumes, anecdotes replacing narrative) that would later become so exaggerated making brief and more naturalistic appearances in his apparently aimless tale of a bunch of time-wasting friends in a small coastal town where the biggest events are growing a moustache or sideburns. That it somehow becomes more than the sum of its parts is quietly magical in its own way, and the amiably dry narration linking the events and non-events underlines the ebb and flow of the film nicely. Oddly enough, I was struck by the similarities to Tony Hancock's later 'The Punch and Judy Man,' which seems to touch on several aspects of small-town inertia without ever hitting the same heights.

There are multiple editions of the film available, but while this remastered PAL edition from Nouveaux is respectable enough, Criterion's Region 1 NTSC DVD is the one to go for, offering a superb transfer with a good retrospective documentary, 'Vitellonismo,' which reveals a surprising degree of studio opposition to casting Alberto Sordi (then thought to be box-office poison after the disastrous commercial failure of Fellini's The White Sheik with the actor but whose career would virtually be made by the film) as well as the original theatrical trailer, stills gallery and booklet.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD
This early (1953) film by Federico Fellini was only his second solo directing excursion, and its seriocomic tale of the exploits of five carefree young men (wasters, if you will) in a backwater Adriatic town belies its creator's relative inexperience, demonstrating a remarkably assured touch. I have always compared I Vitelloni with Luchino Visconti's 1960 masterpiece Rocco And His Brothers, another tale of five men (brothers this time) struggling both economically and romantically, and whilst I probably have a slight preference for Visconti's rather more serious, tragic (and, admittedly at times, overblown) realism, Fellini's film scores more highly on its poetic and comic qualities.

What also comes across very clearly, even in this very early Fellini film, was the director's love of the theatrical set-piece as (perhaps at a rather low-grade extreme) his film opens with an Adriatic beachside beauty pageant, at which young Moraldo's narration introduces us to himself and his four cohorts (in particular the amateur singer Riccardo - played by the director's brother, Riccardo - and philanderer Fausto - Franco Fabrizi - whose pregnant wife Sandra - Leonora Ruffo - wins the Miss Siren contest and then promptly faints). By contrast, Fellini later includes a more typically extravagant carnival scene, in which he bedecks his main protagonists in drag to hilarious effect. These scenes also find the director in satirical mode on one of his pet subjects - the illusoriness of stardom - as new-found 'fans' swoon in front of Miss Siren and, on her fainting, her mother quips, 'Die tonight, when they've made you Miss Siren?'.

At the heart of I Vitelloni, however, are preoccupations with ambition, personal responsibility and honour.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Classic Fellini and one of his best films in my view. I was interested to read in the comments on a review of this film on Amazon that there is an autobiographical element to this film, in the sense that there is a 6th Vitelloni in shot at the beach, unnamed, and that is the narrator. Fellini came from a seaside town like that in the film himself. The editing by Ronaldo Bendetti and the score by Nino Rota are worth commending. I also thought Leonora Ruffo playing Sandra was absolutely delightful to behold.
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