City and town life -- Italy -- Rome -- Drama, Pimps -- Italy -- Drama, Rome -- Social conditions -- Drama, Urban poor -- Italy -- Drama


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Franco Citti, Franca Pasut, Silvana Corsini, Paola Guidi,

Pasolini’s first film is set in the milieu of his early novels Ragazzi di vita (1955) and Una vita violenta (1959)—the world of prostitutes, pimps, and layabouts living on the outskirts of Rome and existing outside of both bourgeois and proletarian morality. The film shares some qualities with neorealism, but Pasolini’s unsentimental approach to the cruelty and craftiness of poverty’s children makes Federico Fellini’s vitelloni look like the princes they are. No, this is a Dantean netherworld, and like the central character, it is of interest to Pasolini, prized even, precisely for its refusal of redemption. The filmmaker graces it with his understated visual passion, at once lyrical and honest, not incongruously set to Bach. In the character of Accattone—a street nickname meaning “pimp” or “scrounger”—Pasolini introduces the first of his remarkable finds: Franco Citti (brother of his friend and collaborator Sergio Citti), an actor whose rough-hewn beauty is like a slap in the face.

Judy Bloch
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Sergio Citti
  • Tonino Delli Colli
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 117 mins
  • Cinecittà
  • Janus Films

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View Accattone documents  

Accattone (review), Reader (Chicago, Ill.), Dave Kehr, 2004

Accattone (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, 2001

Pier Paolo Pasolini: the eyes of a poet (booklet), UCLA Film & Television Archive, 1991

Pier Paolo Pasolini (program note), Art Gallery of Ontario, James Quandt, 1990

Accattone (program note), Pacific Film Archive Calendar, 1984

Theater program - Accattone (program note), Pacific Film Archive Calendar, 1980

Pier Paolo Pasolini -- excerpt (book excerpt), British Film Institute, Paul Willemen, 1977

Pier Paolo Pasolini (booklet), Filmoteca Nacional de España, Marc Gervais, 1976

The poet and the pimp (article), New Republic, Stanley Kauffmann, 1968

Accattone (article), Audio Brandon Films, 1968

Displaying 10 of 18 publicly available documents.

View all Accattone documentation on CineFiles.