Aging small-time con man Augusto (Broderick Crawford), who swindles peasants, works with two younger men: Roberto, who wants to become the Italian Johnny Ray, and Bruno, nicknamed Picasso (Richard Basehart), who has a wife and daughter and wants to paint. Augusto avoids the personal entanglements, spending money at clubs seeking the good life. His attitude changes when he runs into his own daughter, whom he rarely sees, and realizes she’s now a young woman and … Read more
Five young men dream of success as they drift lazily through life in a small Italian village. Fausto, the group’s leader, is a womanizer; Riccardo craves fame; Alberto is a hopeless dreamer; Moraldo fantasizes about life in the city; and Leopoldo is an aspiring playwright. As Fausto chases a string of women, to the horror of his pregnant wife, the other four blunder their way from one uneventful experience to the next.
In Italy, small-town newlyweds Wanda and Ivan Cavalli embark on their honeymoon in the big city of Rome. Ivan dutifully wants to keep appointments with family and church, but Wanda is only interested in meeting her favorite photo-strip star known as “The White Sheik”. While Wanda impetuously sneaks away to locate the object of her affections, disconsolate Ivan tries his hardest to keep up appearances with the couple’s relatives.
In Italy, Checco Dal Monte manages a troupe of traveling performers with plenty of heart but minimal talent. At a small town engagement, he encounters the starry-eyed, gorgeous Lily Antonelli, and hires her as a dancer on the show. Vivacious Lily quickly sells out crowds and earns the resentment of Checco’s mistress, Melina Amour, but the fledgling performer has far bigger ambitions and soon sets her sights on a higher-profile role.
Guido Anselmi, a film director, finds himself creatively barren at the peak of his career. Urged by his doctors to rest, Anselmi heads for a luxurious resort, but a sorry group gathers—his producer, staff, actors, wife, mistress, and relatives—each one begging him to get on with the show. In retreat from their dependency, he fantasizes about past women and dreams of his childhood.
Fellini exposes his great attraction for the clowns and the world of the circus first recalling a childhood experience when the circus arrives nearby his home. Then he joins his crew and travel from Italy to Paris chasing the last greatest European clowns still live in these countries. He also meets Anita Ekberg trying to buy a panther in a circus.