La Strada

  • 1954
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Federico Fellini was at the top of his form here, as was his wife and frequent star, Giulietta Masina, whose pantomime in LA STRADA caused her to be dubbed a female Chaplin. She is marvelous. Zampano (Anthony Quinn), a traveling strongman, "buys" the dim-witted but pure of heart Gelsomina (Masina) to help him with his act. The two travel together, with...read more

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Federico Fellini was at the top of his form here, as was his wife and frequent star, Giulietta Masina, whose pantomime in LA STRADA caused her to be dubbed a female Chaplin. She is marvelous.

Zampano (Anthony Quinn), a traveling strongman, "buys" the dim-witted but pure of heart Gelsomina (Masina) to help him with his act. The two travel together, with her beating the drum and playing a trumpet to herald his act, and serving as his mistress and slave. Eventually, the pair join a tiny

circus and meet il Matto ("The Fool," played by Richard Basehart), a clown and high-wire artist who treats Gelsomina kindly. When the ethereal Fool is accidentally killed by the brutish Zampano, she is devastated and suffers an emotional breakdown, and the strongman abandons her. Many years later,

still traveling, Zampano learns of Gelsomina's fate and belatedly realizes his need for her.

Perhaps the simplest and certainly one of the most powerful of Fellini's films, LA STRADA established his international fame while marking a distinct break from neorealism in its poetic, deeply personal imagery (especially the "Felliniesque" circus motif), and religious symbolism. While Masina's

unforgettable performance, perfectly combining comedy and pathos, caused the greatest stir, Quinn and Basehart are also excellent, and Nino Rota's music became famous worldwide.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Federico Fellini was at the top of his form here, as was his wife and frequent star, Giulietta Masina, whose pantomime in LA STRADA caused her to be dubbed a female Chaplin. She is marvelous. Zampano (Anthony Quinn), a traveling strongman, "buys" the dim-… (more)

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