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In Fellini's sardonically humorous, yet powerfully dramatic "Il Bidone," three small-time crooks impersonate priests in Rome to con poor people out of their money. Academy Award winner Broderick Crawford is extraordinary as the group's world weary leader, whose chance meeting with his daughter opens his eyes to his wrongdoing. Too late, he suffers a crisis of conscience in this absorbing tale of hope, desperation and, finally, redemption. One of Fellini's most realistic films, "Il Bidone" begins as an Italian comedy of errors, its swindles reminiscent of "The Sting," yet there is true sting in its harsh portrayal of greed and squalor. The middle chapter in Fellini's "trilogy of loneliness" between "La Strada" and "Nights of Cabiria," this classic film will tug at your heart and astonish you with its aching sense of compassion. Music by Nino Rota (The Godfather, Rocco and His Brothers).

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ID8446IF Il Bidone DVD (1955/Broderick Crawford) $24.99 $22.45