La Strada (Criterion Collection) (2 Discs)
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
So...my hunch is that somebody at Criterion fouled
up somehow and the result is several minutes of
I'm still happy,however,that I purchased the DVD
because the video quality is outstanding!
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The story to La Strada is very simple. Despite some flaws it is a very powerful film that unlike some other Fellini films can be understood and adored by many. Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2004 by Antonio Giusto
Okay, so it's a famous movie by a famous director. So what? The acting is not especially good. (Yes, I realize part of the problem may be that the original dialogue had to be... Read morePublished on June 1 2004 by Rosemary West
There, I said it. This film just doesn't have much going for it, other than positive word of mouth. I challenge you to find some substantive reasoning in the 5-star reviews... Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by ixta_coyotl
One of my very favorite films. Criterion has done a beautiful job with this movie -- terrific film quality, very attractive packaging, nice bonuses. Well worth the price. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004 by offeck
The opening line of ws142's review shows he is inarticulate, crude and ignorant which is reason enough to make me want to run out and buy La Strada immediately. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2004 by paul v zach
Man does this movie suck balls. What's the big prob? for one thing the movie's dubbed in Italian and English- the viewer gets the choice between the two- but it's six of one etc. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004 by Willie
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