Federico Fellini’s first international success, this 1953 film, based on memories of his youth in Rimini, focuses on five youths in a sleepy seaside town during the winter off season. The director has said that much of the film is autobiographical and captures those he knew in Rimini.
The film opens with a party, where Sandra Rubini (Leonora Ruffo) is elected Miss Siren of 1953. This is because she is pregnant, via Fausto Moretti (Franco Fabrizi), whose father forces him to marry her, to save family honor . Throughout the film , we see him flirting with all kind of women-a married girl at a film theater, his boss’s wife, a girl he picks up at a café and so on. Riccardo (Riccardo Fellini- Federico’s brother) is given the least screen time. He’s a wannabe actor and singer who’s basically support for the others. Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste), is a poet and intellectual who revels in melodrama and clichés. Alberto (Alberto Sordi) lives with his mother and sister, Olga (Claude Farell), who sleeps with married men. And then there is Moraldo (Franco Interlenghi) , the most philosophical of their group, is actually aware of their lives as insulated and circumscribed, the only one finally agitated enough to take action. Moraldo is definitely the consciousness of the film. Martin Scorsese named this film as a huge inspiration for his film “Mean Streets” .I Vitelloni is also an insightful and accurate representation of Italy in the immediate postwar period, full of references to the massive social changes underway.