Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Italy/France, 1955. Titanus, Société Générale de Cinématographie. Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli. Cinematography by Otello Martelli. Produced by Silvio Clementelli, Charles Delac, Mario Derecchi, Goffredo Lombardo. Music by Nino Rota. Production Design by Dario Cecchi. Costume Design by Dario Cecchi. Film Editing by Mario Serandrei, Giuseppe Vari.
Broderick Crawford plays the lead member of a gang of con artists who go around the country dressed up as priests, swindling poor citizens in rural Italy. Fellini never shirked from making decisive criticisms of the Catholic church, and here it’s in full throttle as we see people being robbed blind thanks to their devotion to a religion that is supposed to take care of them. His observations on the subject, however, were made to better effect (and much more subtly) in other films (particularly Nights of Cabiria). Giulietta Masina and Richard Basehart also appear.