I Vitelloni is a 1953 Italian comedy-drama directed by Federico Fellini from a screenplay by Fellini, Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli. The film launched the career of Alberto Sordi, one of post-war Italy's most significant and popular comedians, who stars with Franco Fabrizi and Franco Interlenghi in a story of five young Italian men at crucial turning points in their small town lives. Recognized as a pivotal work in the director's artistic evolution, the film has distinct autobiographical elements that mirror important societal changes in 1950s Italy. Recipient of both the Venice Film Festival Silver Lion in 1953, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing in 1958, the film's success restored Fellini's reputation after the commercial failure of The White Sheik (1952).
One of Fellini's most imitated films, I Vitelloni inspired European directors Juan Antonio Bardem, Marco Ferreri, and Lina Wertmuller, and influenced Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets (1973), George Lucas's American Graffiti (1973), and Joel Schumacher's St. Elmo's Fire (1985), among many others according to Kezich. These include Philip Kaufman's The Wanderers (1979) and Barry Levinson's Diner (1982). In a 1963 edition of Cinema magazine, master director Stanley Kubrick cited the film as one of his top 10 favourite films.