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IL Bidone (1955) - B&W - 94 min

The LikeTelevision™ Movie channel proudly presents IL Bidone - a disturbing dramatic tragedy by Federico Fellini - starring Broderick Crawford (best known as Dan Matthews on Highway Patrol) as a small time con man named Augusto. He's a detestable character who cons peasants out of their life savings by impersonating a Monsiegnor from The Vatican. But Augusto is getting old, and you can't help feeling sorry for him when he tries to rip off his fellow con men, by stealing the crippled girl's family's money to finance his daughter's education. Huh? Yep - old Augusto is low as they come - and he has a great Karmic meltdown in the end. Also stars Richard Basehart (Captain from Voyage To The Bottom of The Sea) as Picasso, a young con man with a family. Part of Fellini's Trilogy of Loneliness!

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IL Bidone
Directed by - Federico Fellini

(1955) - B&W - 94 min

Part one
Three con men plan to steal the life savings of a poor farm family by impersonating Catholic Bigwigs from The Vatican.

Richard Basehart as Picasso

Part two
The scam continues until the cons take off with most of the poor farmer's life savings. The trio celebrates and tries another interesting con game as they arrive in a village posing as government housing officials. The crew cons the people to place deposits on the new government assisted houses and apartments.

Part three
It's New Year's Eve and the three celebrate the success of their con game with a night on the town. Then they meet up with Renaldo, an old friend of Augusto who quit the con racquet for a bigger payday. Though never directly mentioned - it seems Renaldo is cocaine dealer. (Roberto provides this insight with a gesture tweaking his nose a few times when discussing the business that Renaldo is in). The three cons go to Renaldo's big New Year's bash - part three ends as Roberto steals a womens gold cigarette case and puts it into his pocket.

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IL Bidone
Directed by - Federico Fellini

Starring - Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart, Franco Fabrizi, Giulietta Masina, Alberto De Amicis, Lorella De Luca

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Starring Broderick Crawford as Augusto

Part four
As the three cons leave the party, Roberto is confronted by Renaldo about the missing gold cigarette case. (Renaldo's girl friend saw him take it). Roberto finally gives it back after he realizes they are going to search him and beat him up if he doesn't. The three head out for more parties and Picasso gets toasted. Then - they try another con - trading lousy coats for gasoline. Later on a trip to town, Augusto meets up with his daughter and they arrange to meet again and go to a movie.

Franco Fabrizi as Roberto

Part five
Augusto and his daughter meet for lunch and she tells him she is trying to continue her education - but can't afford it. It seems she needs 300,000 lira and Augusto offers to help. Then they go watch a movie where Augusto is recognized by a man who got snookered by Augusto in the past. (Augusto sold some perscription medicine that almost killed his brother). Augusto is arrested and taken to jail. When he gets out, he returns to the bar to continue his con games. But it seems Roberto and Picasso are no longer in the game as he is teamed with two new partners.

Part six
The trio is planning to the same "priest con" they used in part one. But this time, Augusto plans to rip off his fellow crooks and steal the 300,000 lira to help his daughter continue her schooling. Will Augusto steal the poor crippled girl's money? And if he does, will the cons turn on him? Watch the terrific conclusion to this classic Fellini tragedy.

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