Set in a seedy travelling circus troupe, La Strada’s story revolves around brutish strongman Zampano (Anthony Quinn), the elfin like girlfriend he’s bought for 10,000 lire, Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina, the director’s wife), and clown Matto (Richard Basehart). Appalled by Zampano’s insensitive treatment of Gelsomina, the gentle-natured Matto invites her to run away with him, but Gelsomina faithfully refuses to leave the strong man’s side until Zampano’s volcanic temper erupts once too often, with tragic consequences. The film, beautifully scored by composer Nina Rota, is really centred around the performance of Masina: by turns childlike, wilful and artless she steals the screen in every scene she appears in.
“Signor Fellini has used his small cast, and, equally important, his camera, with the unmistakable touch of an artist. His vignettes fil his movie with beauty, sadness, humour and understanding.” A.H. Weiler, The New York Times, July 1956
- Newlyn Filmhouse
Italy 1954 115m subtitles