The Swindle

  • 1955
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

To many people the films of Fellini are an obnoxious blend of tiresome episodes filled with ugly characters and extreme symbolism. Others find these same elements to be a magical universe filled with the forces influencing an individual's fate. They appreciate the revealing caricatures, lively costumes and sets, and extenuating sounds that create a poetic...read more

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To many people the films of Fellini are an obnoxious blend of tiresome episodes filled with ugly characters and extreme symbolism. Others find these same elements to be a magical universe filled with the forces influencing an individual's fate. They appreciate the revealing caricatures,

lively costumes and sets, and extenuating sounds that create a poetic vision. The latter camp will find much to entertain themselves with in THE SWINDLE, a film similar to its predecessor, LA STRADA, in its depiction of a man who goes through life almost blind to its wonders and with little pity

for other humans. Crawford plays a petty thief who teams up with Basehart and Fabrizi to swindle poor people. Fabrizi is the first to back out of these schemes--not to redeem himself but to go on to "better" things. Of the three, his character is the least sympathetic because his acts of thievery

are done so casually. In a moment of enlightenment, Basehart forsakes this lifestyle to return to his wife Masina who, as in LA STRADA, looks on the events with her large round eyes. She is the direct opposite of the soulless Fabrizi. This leads Crawford to assemble another bunch to assist in his

operations. In the touching final scenes, Crawford is dressed in a bishop's robes in order to execute a scheme when he is approached by an invalid, Blake, who takes him for the real thing, bending down to kiss his hand. Crawford finally feels remorse for his deeds, realizing that he has been

taking advantage of people who are driven by pure faith. But by this time it's too late for him to repent. A very dark vision that isn't always pleasant to look at but is nonetheless fascinating. The film did not get a US release until 1962.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: To many people the films of Fellini are an obnoxious blend of tiresome episodes filled with ugly characters and extreme symbolism. Others find these same elements to be a magical universe filled with the forces influencing an individual's fate. They apprec… (more)

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