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also known as The Scrounger


  • 4.0
The first of Pier Paolo Pasolini's highly acclaimed films and the winner of numerous film festival prizes, ACCATTONE uses a talented cast to present a vivid picture of the Roman slums. Based on one of the filmmaker/poet's novels, this story of a pimp, his friends, his enemies and his girls is realism at its earthiness. It is brutal, realistic, un-sentimental and bustling with life. Particularly effective is the use of Johann Sebastian Bach on the soundtrack which provides the ironic counterpoint of the world of prostitutes and street fighters. Though the source materials of ACCATTONE could certainly be better, this debut work deserves to be seen.

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Official selection of the 1961 Venice Film Festival.

Member Reviews (15)

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top reviewer

Unwatchable. The white subtitles against a lot of white background made too much of the film impossible to understand as I don't speak Italian.

3 members like this review
top reviewer

Pasollini's Accattone (1961) is a film that clearly shows the writer/director was not only uninformed, but even naïve about the social situation to which his film related. This film is so detached from the slum life of the big city, and the realities of the life of pimps and prostitutes that it could better be called an example of Un-Realism, than Neo-Realism.

This filmmaker couldn't even stage a good street fight, just showing two guys rolling around in the street locked in bear hugs.

The protagonist's first prostitute is portrayed getting a broken leg, and is soon shown thereafter walking around with a cast on the leg, yet with no limp, or crutches. Sorry, but having a broken leg doesn't work that way.

This first prostitute is shown getting badly beaten, yet then is shown in the police station without a bruise on her. Now that Neo-Un-Realism, if I ever saw it.

That the protagonist is shown almost starving after his only hooker is jailed is just STUPID. Pimps are street savvy guys who have more than one girl in their stable, and are street smart enough to make money in a variety of ways besides pimping.

I could go on and on, but what's the point? The costumes, the characters, and dialogue is nothing close to appropriate for the social situation that this film is supposedly portraying. This filmmaker obviously never entered the slums of a big city, and never met real pimps and prostitutes. He was making a supposedly realistic account of a social scene of which he was obviously ignorant.

This is the first Pasollini film that I've viewed, and it's his first film that he made. But solely on the basis of viewing his first film, I really don't think that this guy showed enough here to merit a second chance.

top reviewer

Try "Salo, or the 100 Days of Sodom". Probably one of the most repulsive films ever made, but aesthetically justified since Pasolini was showing us how morally debased fascism was as an ideology. If you're correct in your assessment that Pasolini was "un-real," then at the very least, "Salo" will convince you he improved on this score.

top reviewer

Pasolini's stunning debut.

top reviewer

Obviously a classic. Enjoyed the music.

a good film but I had a hard time reading the subtitles. The white on white made it nearly impossible.

Classic Italian neo-realism. A great introduction to Pasolini.

Not stunning at all. Badly acted. Subtitles difficult to see against a light backdrop. I had to give up.

We couldn't watch this because the subtitles are pure white against a pale background.

this is a good movie.

a sad movie about a way of life that does not seem to have an escape.

great movie!!

So very important.


I watched the whole film a couple of nights ago on my ipad. I had never even heard of the film before but knew the director Pier Paolo Pasolini from Mama Roma. This is his first film and a wonderful one at that. A group of young men living in the slums exploit women in prostitution for money. Their families, wives and children have rejected them and they aren't in a temperament to work low wage jobs. Accattone is the "tag" name of one of the young men who exploits a young woman. After a beating she ends up in the custody of police and his fortunes go downhill. Finding another young woman, he becomes attached to her and tries to work a job in order to support them both. But the street life is powerful and jobs are unattractive.