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Nights of Cabiria (The Criterion Collection)

4.6 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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(Sep 07, 1999)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Giulietta Masina won Best Actress at Cannes as the title character of one of Fellini's most haunting films. Oscar® winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria) is the tragic story of a naive prostitute searching for true love in the seediest sections of Rome. Criterion proudly presents the restored director's cut in a breathtaking new transfer.

Additional Features

Fans who endured years of Nights of Cabiria's awful transfers will be thrilled with Criterion's restored DVD. It is now possible to watch Nights of Cabiria in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, complete with the edited "Man With the Sack" sequence. All the familiar scratches and smudges, and the incredible blurriness have been removed on this new digital transfer. The digitally restored Italian and English Mono soundtracks include new translations more in tune to the colloquial dialog so essential to the authenticity of Nights of Cabiria. Extras include an exclusive interview with Fellini's assistant Dominique Delouche, an audio interview with producer Dino De Laurentiis and an excerpt from The White Sheik showcasing "Cabiria" first screen appearance. All in all, a stellar DVD and a fantastic addition to the Criterion Collection. --Rob Bracco

Special Features

  • Uncut, restored theatrical re-release version features the seven-minute "man with a sack" sequence, not seen since the film's premiere at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival
  • Video interview with former Fellini assistant Dominique Delouche
  • Audio interview with producer Dino De Laurentiis
  • Excerpt from Fellini's The White Sheik, in which Masina makes her first appearance as Cabiria
  • Restoration demonstration

Product Details

  • Actors: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi, Dorian Gray, Aldo Silvani
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Maria Molinari, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Tullio Pinelli
  • Producers: Dino De Laurentiis
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 1999
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IOKV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,221 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nights of Cabiria (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This masterpiece grabs you from the get-go and doesn't let up! Watch carefully, for the first two minutes of the opening scene represent the unfortunate recurring pattern of Cabiria's life: sheer happiness followed by tearful sorrow. Fellini's masterful approach to the story of Cabiria, a plain-Jane older prostitute in 1950's Rome, is not only artful but insightful. Surprisingly, you love this character from the moment you meet her and you can't help but wish her the best. You personally share in her disappointments, some greater than others, and Cabiria displays a remarkable level of resilience in the face of it all. Just when you start thinking that things may be going well for her, BOOM!, Fellini drops the bomb that blows everything to bits. The ending is one of such heartbreaking sadness that, I guarantee, will stay with you forever. Even weeks after first seeing this film, dear Cabiria is still on my mind and I wonder every so often what happened to her after the movie ended.
From a technical aspect, the Criterion release is outstanding. The visual restoration of this film is unbelievable. There is a feature that shows how the film was restored, and it's fascinating to see how the print went from dark and almost impossible to see to clear and bright. The subtitles have been newly translated to a more modern English. There is an optional English-dubbed soundtrack which is helpful for some scenes where there is lots of quick-fire dialog in which the subtitles have been pared down for clarity. There is also a video interview with Fellini's assistant Dominique Delouche, as well as an audio interview with Dino de Laurentiis.
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Format: DVD
A prostitute whose life is a veritable study in the resilience of the human spirit is the subject of "Nights of Cabiria," directed by Federico Fellini. Giulietta Masina stars as Cabiria, a gentle soul at heart who manages to maintain a positive outlook even in the face of adversity. Experiences that would leave those of lesser mettle jaded she is seemingly able to ward off and emerge from intact, with a guarded optimism that nevertheless leaves her open to whatever ills life may have in store for her next. But it is just that optimism and her sense of joy in the simple things that makes her so endearing. She is proud, for example, of the fact that she owns her own house, hovel though it may be. Though not one to be easily duped, she is vulnerable to sincere persistence, which has in the past rendered her victim to those who would take advantage of her, which is succinctly established in the opening scene of the film. Fellini's film is a study of how good may succumb to evil, and yet still triumph in the end (though open to subjective interpretation). It's something of an examination of endurance; how many times can one be knocked down before finally being unable to stand back up again. At the same time, however, it's an example of how purity can prevail against even the utmost cruelty. There is a humanity manifested in Cabiria that somehow gives absolution, not only to her lifestyle, but to those who would willingly do her harm. And it is in that very same absolution that we find a message of hope and redemption. As Cabiria, the diminutive Masina gives a performance that is nothing less than superlative, filled with nuance and expression. She has a face and a manner that convey an unbelievable depth of emotion, and Fellini captures every bit of it with his camera to perfection.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
This is just some information about the new "Nights of Cabiria" transfer. In one of the customer reviews by Fred Melden, it is mentioned that the "dubbing and subtitles were poor, often not even closely matching one another." Let's get one thing straight, the dub-track was included on the DVD as supplimental material... mostly to show how silly the 50's dubbed version must have looked it's original US release, not as the preferable way to view the film.
Secondly, the reason the subtitles don't match the dub-track is that the subtitles are A NEW AND IMPROVED TRANSLATION. They aren't meant to match; the subtitles are an improvement.
Lastly, the reason that some chapers are missing the English dub-track is that those particular scenes were cut from the film before its US release, menaing a dub-track was never done for them. These scenes are are available for the first time since the film's initial Cannes festival premier in 1956. This is a restored cut of the film.
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Format: DVD
I love Federico Fellini, but I dread his early works like La Strada because they are so sad. Poor Giulietta Masina, one of the greatest film actresses of all time, she always gets the short end of the stick and because the movie magic is so intense, our heart breaks right along with her.

Fellini is the Great Director Italian style. I don't mean he isn't the greatest director, better than Hitchcock, Welles, a modern like Scorcese. I'm looking at his work, have seen most of them, and I can't make up my mind. He might be the greatest that ever lived. His films in black and white, the Neo-Realism of Italian film after the war, the incredible original vision, the writing, and directing, it's as though Michelangelo came back as a director.

Masina is a prostitute, but her loves turn out to be pocketbook grabbers. Her physical well being is not high on her boyfriend's priority list. She's such a little women, frail, and in Nights she plays a tough, brawling, whimsical, and hopeless romantic. Her acting style is over the top, almost carnival character as she had played it in La Strada, but as Cabiria, she's older, but not necessarily wiser. The final revelation with French actor François Périer is so heart rendering because after an hour and a half of Cabiria's, laughter, trials, and disappointments, we identify with her completely. And then, in one last scene, the carnival returns with hope.

There is so much more to say about this film. You could write a book.
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