Part of Essential Fellini.
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 and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1957. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal strongman in a traveling circus. 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. Fellini himself described LA STRADA as “the complete catalogue of my entire mythological world.”
Restored by the Criterion Collection in collaboration with the Film Foundation and the Cineteca di Bologna. Elements provided by Beta Film. Restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
“...Tells a fable that is simple by his later standards, but contains many of the obsessive visual trademarks that he would return to again and again: the circus, and parades, and a figure suspended between earth and sky, and one woman who is a waif and another who is a carnal monster, and of course the seashore. Like a painter with a few favorite themes, Fellini would rework these images until the end of his life…. LA STRADA is the first film that can be called entirely ‘Felliniesque’.” —Roger Ebert (Apr 1, 1994) “One of the greatest of all films, this haunting, heartfelt fable feels like a balm during these troubled times, its essential, insistent humanity arriving as a reminder right when we need it most.” —Sean Burns, WBUR (Nov 3, 2020) “It remains an enigmatic fairy tale whose interpretation is so specific to its author that one cannot help but project meaning onto it. Perhaps this is why the film ensnares our emotions to such a powerful scale.” —Brian Eggert, Deep Focus Review (Mar 3, 2015)