Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Luci Del Varieta
Italy, 1950. Capitolium. Story by Federico Fellini, Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Alberto Lattuada, Tullio Pinelli. Cinematography by Otello Martelli. Produced by Alberto Lattuada. Music by Felice Lattuada. Production Design by Aldo Buzzi. Costume Design by Aldo Buzzi. Film Editing by Mario Bonotti.
Federico Fellini’s first time as director was in this wonderful behind-the-scenes film, co-directed with Alberto Lattuada. In it, the leader of a traveling theatrical troupe allows a new, unknown girl to join his vaudevillian ensemble and watches as she climbs to the top of the group’s popularity. Becoming obsessively in love with her, he drops his affair with his premiere actress (Giulietta Masina, who is wonderful) and goes after the new girl, while she All About Eves her way to the top of the showbiz racket. Fans of the great maestro won’t necessarily recognize his style in the directing, which is where Lattuada gets more of the credit, but the setting and the characters will be old hat to those who have already seen Fellini’s work (which makes sense, since Fellini’s influence was heavier on the writing). Terrific acting and marvelous direction, a wonderful beginning for this genius’s great career.