Film / I Vitelloni

I Vitelloni is a 1953 film directed by Federico Fellini that deals with a bunch of slackers and their supposedly carefree lives. One of them, Fausto, blows this when he leaves his girlfriend pregnant and is forced to marry her. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t try to seduce other women, though.

Fausto's friends try to be supportive while keeping their lifestyles: Alberto is supported by his mother and sister, Leopoldo writes a play, Riccardo tries to keep his singing act and Moraldo, Fausto’s brother-in-law, tries to get away from it all.

It was one of Stanley Kubrick's and Martin Scorsese's favorite movies.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Author Avatar: Moraldo is usually considered to be one for Fellini himself.
  • Betty and Veronica: For Fausto, Sandra is Betty and the woman in the movie theater is Veronica.
  • Broken Pedestal: Leopoldo has the eccentric actor Sergio in high regard, but then he tries to insinuate to him.
  • Camp Gay: Sergio Natali.
  • The Casanova: All of them, but Fausto is the most noticeable.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Francesco, Fausto’s father, loses his patience with his son by the end of the film.
  • Likes Older Women: Fausto becomes attracted to the much older wife of his boss.
  • Masquerade Ball
  • Monster Clown: Alberto, while drunk, sees some clown faces like this.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Not that obnoxious actually, but Moraldo feels scorn to his brother-in-law because he sees how he cheats on his sister.
  • Obsessed with Food: Sandra
  • The One Who Made It Out: All of the five Vitelloni want to get out of town and make it big in the wider world and they keep making plans to escape but most of them stumble and fail to act on their plans. Moraldo is the only one who manages it, and the finale is a poignant montage of him in the train leaving the town intercut with small vignettes showing his friends adjusting to their small time lives, surrendering their dreams and hopes forever.
  • Out of Focus: There are five Vitelloni, but Alberto and Riccardo largely disappear in the second half of the film, as the story centers on Fausto and Moraldo, plus Leopoldo to a lesser extent.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Fortunately for Fausto, Sandra is a nice-looking girl.
  • The Slacker: The five protagonists.
  • Small Town Boredom: Moraldo wants to go out of his little town. He does it at the end.
  • The Smart Guy: Leopoldo.
  • Spiritual Successor: All movies about slackers and young kids trying to make something of their lives are ultimately descended from Fellini's Trope Codifier including Mean Streets.
  • Untranslated Title: I Vitelloni ("The slabs of veal") was an insulting term for Slackers in the dialect of Fellini's home region of Romagna. The original American release retitled it The Young and the Passionate, but it's gone by the original title since then. Interestingly, this trope also applied for I Vitelloni in most regions of Italy, where they'd never heard that bit of slang before.
  • Zany Scheme: Fausto's plan to steal the statue and sell it to a church.