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La Strada (Criterion Collection) (2 Discs)

4.4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart, Aldo Silvani, Marcella Rovere
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli
  • Producers: Carlo Ponti, Dino De Laurentiis
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Nov. 25 2003
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005JKGQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #49,126 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Considered by many to be Federico Fellini's most beautiful and powerful film, La Strada was the first film to reveal the range of Guilietta Masina, whose poignant performance as the childlike Gelsomina recalls Chaplin's Little Tramp. The bubbly, waiflike Gelsomina is a simpleton sold to the gruff, bullying circus strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn) as a servant and assistant. Treated no better than an animal, Gelsomina nonetheless falls in love with the brute Zampanò. When they join a small circus they meet Il Matto (Richard Basehart), a clown who enchants Gelsomina and relentlessly taunts Zampanò, whose inability to control his hatred of Il Matto (literally, "the Fool") leads to their expulsion from the circus and eventually to the film's fateful conclusion. Masina is heartbreaking as the wide-eyed innocent, whose generous spirit and love of life leads her to try to "save" Quinn's unfeeling, brutal Zampanò. Though the film resonates with mythic and biblical dimensions, Fellini never loses sight of his characters, lovingly painted in all their frailties and failings. Fellini's lyrical style reaches back to the simple beauty of his neorealist films and looks ahead to the impressionistic fantasies of later films, but at this unique period in Fellini's career, they combine to create a poetic, tragic masterpiece. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is one of those films which can, albeit its slow-pacing, deliver an unforgettable and complex experience.
The plot is no brainer; Gelsomina (played by Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina) is sold by her poor mother to a brute fairground wrestler, Zampanò (Quinn) in order to be his show assistant. Just a few moments later, one can see Zampanò nature; he tortures Gelsomina, both verbally and physically. But the latter receives these harsh treatment very meekly - at times, she seems to represent a martyr figure, in some respect resembling Christ. On their way they meet the Fool (Basehart), who doesn't get along with Zampanò, which leads to great tragedy. In the end, seeing what his actions have spawned, Zampanò finally attains his humanity - but it is probably too late for second chances ...
Some argue that this is Fellini's ''easiest'' film and a kind of homage to Charlie Chaplin with the persona of Gelsomina. I still say that this is a film not to be missed - it contains so many truths of life that it is essential to be seen by every human being.
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Format: DVD
In response to Stephen Lopez:I,too,contacted
Criterion regarding the English track.I received
the same reply.However,I can't accept their
answer because some years back,Criterion released
La Strada on laserdisc (a now-defunct video medium
used mainly by videophiles before the advent of DVDs)
which I've owned since its release.
The English soundtrack on this LD is flawless...not
a single "dropoff" from start to finish. hunch is that somebody at Criterion fouled
up somehow and the result is several minutes of
missing audio.
I'm still happy,however,that I purchased the DVD
because the video quality is outstanding!
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Format: DVD
I agree with almost all of my fellow reviewers, that this is probably one of the greatest films ever made. Since DVD's came about, I've been writing letters to Criterion (the company which restored it), asking that "La Strada" be released (especially by them). First of all, the picture quality is 10 out of 10, it's wonderful. The original "Italian" audio track is a joy to my ear, from beginning to end. BUT....the "English" audio track seems to be flawed (at least with this, the first release). In the beginning of the film, when Gelsomina is introduced to Zampano, about 3:30 min into the film, until 4:04 min into the film, there is a complete loss of sound. And once again from 4:20 min into the film, until 4:35 min into the film, there is another complete loss of sound. From then on, the audio is flawless. I contacted Criterion about this problem, and I was advised that it was probably a bad copy, and to contact AMAZON for a replacement. I did this, and AMAZON sent out a new copy within 2 days. Unfortunately, the replacement disk was flawed in EXACTLY the same places on the "English" track. Please check YOUR copy, and if it IS flawed, please contact Criterion about it. I tried BOTH of my copies on THREE DIFFERENT DVD players, and it was SAME problem on each machine, and at the same times that I mentioned. What are the odds of that? I'm a HUGE fan of Criterion and their work, and I think it's just a bug that needs to be worked out. Other than that, their restoration is a jewel in my collection.
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Format: DVD
Fellini is over rated (!). There, I mentioned it. His 'indominable imagination', while influential as far as filmmakers such as Terry Gilliam are concerned (see Criterion's 81/2), is simply not enough to sustain narrative or deep thematic concerns. He does not hang enough ideas on these elaborate constructions, seems more or less disinterested in developing the figures he creates beyond extrapolating on their grotesque/freakish/cute/unusual qualities. He really does not like women very much (but then I suppose not many male filmmakers do). The conceptualisation of his female characters always falls within the(yawn) well defined limits of the old madonna... thing. Women are capricious, sexual, wanton, barely glimpsed, desired (etc.) or hag-like, stupid, ugly (etc.)in Fellini's films. In this film the Chaplinesque main character, a woman, is made out to be rather a dullard, her cloying cuteness and mugging at the camera notwithstanding.
But that's going off at a tangent; the films are pretty to watch and this one has a particularly interesting context (Fellini wanting to break through the confines of the familiar neo-realist tradition of that period in Italian cinema etc.), but the razzle dazzle and surface beauty of the film while captivating at first soon becomes, quite frankly, boring.
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Format: DVD
Although I've greatly enjoyed movies all of my life, I have only considered myself a "film buff" for about 10 years now, and believe it or not, its taken me this long to discover the genius of Fellini. After viewing the masterpiece "8 1/2", I was anxious to check out another film by this director I have always heard so much about, and my search lead me to "La Strada". I just finished watching it about 15 minutes ago, and once again, I am deeply affected, and aware of being in the presence of brilliance.
The plot details can be read in the editorial review above, so I'll just make some comments. First of all, the story is unforgetable. If you are a lover of high art and are open-minded to the classics of cinema, there is no way you will walk away from this film unaffected. The powerful performance by Quinn, the heartbreaking, delicate perfomance by Masina, and the comical, yet touching performance by Basehart combine to produce one of the greatest ensemble performances I have ever seen on screen. Together with Fellini's magical touch, a masterpiece of cinema is born. The story is funny, yet sad....simple, yet thought-provoking. In all, it rightly deserves to be called a classic, and I recommend it to anyone who has a true appreciation of film.
Criterion Collection has done it again with another beautiful package. The transfer is near flawless. The picture is practicaly blemish free, and the unforgettable Nino Rota score is clear and vibrant. Since I just got this DVD, I haven't gotten a chance to view all the extras, but this is a double-disc set from Criterion, which usually means that its packed to the brim with wonderful supplemantal material.
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