I Clowns (The Clowns)
I Clowns (The Clowns) (2001)

The culmination of filmmaker Federico Fellini's lifelong love affair with circus folk was his 1971 The Clowns (I clowns). Fellini's alter ego this time is a young boy, taking in his first circus (again, we're treated to the… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 2001
DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Stefan Kanfer
TIME Magazine

[Fellin] turns the world into his circus and, in a liberated, quasi-documentary style, resurrects some of history's great pagliacci with their cornucopia of practical jokes, smashed hats, pulled chairs, popping balloons and squirting flowers.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

This is artful and sometimes very amusing, but it doesn't work as fiction because Fellini is tied to facts, and it doesn't work as documentary because Fellini will not (cannot?) abandon his gift of giving the raw material an artistic shape.

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Ronald Bergan
Radio Times

Italy's great ringmaster of the cinema returns to the source of his inspiration -- the circus -- and skilfully absorbs it into his own personal vision.

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David Pirie
Time Out

Fellini's documentary celebration of the dying art of the clown is his best film in years.

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Brian Orndorf

I think Fellini feels he's shortchanging his audience. While vivid and researched, "The Clowns" seems like it only scratches the surface with his red-nosed, floppy-shoed obsession.

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Philip French
Observer (UK)

It's a beautifully made movie with ravishing colour of a kind not normally seen on TV in 1970 and a haunting, eclectic score by Nino Rota.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

It's not that The Clowns is not a good deal of fun, or that it is boring; it's just that -- to me, anyway -- this sort of coda doesn't do justice to the entire career.

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Christopher Hudson
The Spectator

[An] undeniably beautiful film.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

The gorgeous, affectionate sequences outweigh the awkward ones, and The Clowns is an overall success.

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More reviews for I Clowns (The Clowns)

Flixster Audience Score: 76% Flixster User Reviews
Eric Broome
"The Clowns" was partly made for Italian television, so perhaps it shouldn't be measured against other Federico Fellini films. Regardless,… More

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