The Criterion Collection
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Giuletta Masina, Anthony Quinn, Richard Basehart. The Oscar-winning study of a tragic waif who is enslaved by her love for a circus strongman, eventually finding comfort with a kindhearted clown. Directed by Federico Fellini. In Italian with English audio & subtitles. 1954/b&w/107 min/NR/fullscreen.
From the Back Cover
There has never been a face quite like that of Giulietta Masina. Her husband, the legendary Federico Fellini, directs her as Gelsomina in La Strada, the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal strongman. When Zampanò encounters an old rival in highwire artist the Fool (Richard Basehart), his fury is provoked to its breaking point. With La Strada, Fellini left behind the familiar signposts of Italian neorealism for a poetic fable of love and cruelty, evoking brilliant performances and winning the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide. The Criterion Collection is proud to present La Strada, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1956.
- Video Introduction by Martin Scorsese
- Audio Commentary by Peter Bondanella, author of The Cinema of Federico Fellini
- Federico Fellini's Autobiography, a 2000 documentary originally broadcast on Italian Television
- Optional English-dubbed soundtrack featring the voices of Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart
- New essay by film scholar Peter Matthews
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Top customer reviews
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I'm not real sure who should get the most credit for La Strada; writer-director Frederico Fellini or his wife and lead actress, Guilietta Masina. Fellini's vision of modern bondage set a midst a traveling carnival show gives us both the depths of human behavior and the almost impossible emergence of love within human squalor. While it's obvious Fellini was influenced by the Italian neo realism movement, this film should not be considered as part of that movement. True, the sets are hard and realistic location setups, adding to the rough and overbearing nature of the circus strongman, Zampano (Anthony Quinn), who buys an assistant, Gelsomina (Guilietta Masina) from a starving family but the themes depart from realism enough to keep it out of that genre..
The relationship between Zampano and Gelsomina drives the story and it's not one which will please the audience. There's a love story here but it's anything but typical. It's love that's marked by jealousy, brutality and insensitivity. As the story progresses, we see Gelsomina become infatuated with a clown (Richard Basehart) which drives an otherwise oblivious Zampano to murder. The crestfallen Gelsomina begins a decline in spirit that culminates with her death. It's then, and only then, that we see love crack the almost unbreakable hide of the tough and callous, Zampano.
The performance of Guilietta in La Strada, for me at least, has to be one of the top 10 best of all time. Her use of an almost mime-driven style to help express a wide range of human frailty and love is a wonder to behold. Sub-titles become worthless and unnecessary. If you want to see an actress practice her art at its highest level, then La Strada is the film for you.
Recommended for those over 17 only based on themes beyond the interest or understanding of the young. If you buy only 1 foreign language film in your lifetime, make it La Strada.
Richard Basehart of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" plays the supporting role
The big star is Federico Fellinis wife, Giulietta Masina. The face of never-forgotten land!
She is greater than life in this WW2 Italian era classic.
Two thumbs and three toes up!
Antony Quinn is all muscle and primitive needs, Messina is compliant humorous but powerless. The Joker-angel figure offersLa Strada (The Criterion Collection) her hope which she is unable to grasp at.
The street people, the wayside performers, the scenery are beautifully filmed,
Nina Rota's music is unforgettable