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La Strada [DVD] [1954]

Giulietta Masina , Anthony Quinn , Federico Fellini    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 10.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Giulietta Masina, Anthony Quinn, Richard Basehart, Aldo Silvani, Marcella Rovere
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled, Mono, Full Screen, Black & White
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 4 July 2005
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007SMDD2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,848 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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 Zampano. When they join a small circus they meet Il Matto (Richard Basehart), a clown who enchants Gelsomina and relentlessly taunts Zampanograve;, 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

Product Description

One of Federico Fellini's greatest films, some critics say his masterpiece, made in 1954 in Black & White and presented in this release with an enclosed 16 page booklet which includes interviews with both Fellini and his wife and the film's co-star; Giulietta Masina (Juliet of the Spirits; Ginger & Fred). The story is very simple; a carefree urchin-like young girl, Gelsomina (Masina) is sold to a brutish travelling strongman, Zampano (Anthony Quinn - Requiem for a Heavyweight; Guns of Navarone; Zorba the Greek; The Greek Tycoon) who entertains the village crowds by breaking a chain around his chest. They travel from place to place, she playing a drum roll as part of the show, he abusing her both physically and emotionally, until the fateful day when they join up with a travelling circus and become acaquainted with Il Matto (Richard Basehart - Decision before Dawn; Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea; Chato's Land).

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films ever made. 23 Nov 2000
By Ian
Format:VHS Tape
For anyone who likes foreign language films, La Strada is essential viewing. Winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1956, as well as numerous other awards, it is brilliant at every level. Superbly directed by Fellini and wonderfully acted by Anthony Quinn as the brutal strongman and Giuletta Masina as the fool with the heart of gold, sold into virtual slavery by her own mother, it features some stunning locations as the strongman and his "slave" embark on their beautiful, yet melancholy, odyssey through the backroads of Italy.
It is a film that you can watch time and time again. It may be viewed as a simple "road movie", but it also operates at a deeper level as an allegorical quest for the very essence of life. La Strada is, quite simply, a masterpiece.
On a technical note, the sound and picture quality of this VHS version are excellent, and the subtitles are always very clear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinema At Its Most Magical 6 Mar 2013
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Fellini's 1954 masterpiece La Strada is as good an example as any in cinema of the maxim 'less is more'. The film's depiction of a simple human story via its mix of comedy, realism, romance and tragedy is both affecting and emotionally devastating, and is superbly portrayed by Fellini's cast, not least of which is Giulietta Masina's (Mrs Fellini) heartfelt turn as Gelsomina, a young woman whose family's poverty forces her to leave home and take up with 'strolling player' and circus strongman Zampano (played with increasing emotional complexity and subtlety by Anthony Quinn). In fact, to think that the child-like Masina was actually 33 years old when the film was made is quite astonishing.

Indeed, although Fellini's film could be regarded 'simply' as a human emotional tragedy, the director has imbued it with a realism signifying wider social relevance, as cinematographer Otello Martelli captures its poverty stricken (mixed urban and rural) milieu brilliantly in its southern central Italian locations, as well as including religious themes in its memorable scenes of a Catholic procession and Zampano and Gelsomina's overnight stay at a convent. Fellini also makes a darkly comic comment on Italy's renowned strong family bonding, during the film's brilliant opening sequence as Gelsomina's mother criticises her daughter ('She's a bit strange') and is quite willing to take Zampano's 10,000 lire to allow Gelsomina to join him on his travels ('We can mend the roof and eat for a time'). It is during these early scenes where the Gelsomina character's comic influence is most obvious (Charlie Chaplin) - as are the film's influences from silent film generally, with its focus on physical, visual comedy - and during which Gelsomina learns of Zampano's brutal (and womanising) nature.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only She Could Have Loved Him. 1 Sep 2009
Federico Fellini had a firm belief that to truly understand what was at the deep core of the Christian faith, then one also had to know the importance that love towards your fellow human beings played in that religion. He felt this was so important that all his films revolved around this fundamental belief. It is a belief I share, for without love we are lost souls. "La Strada" is a film that showcases his beliefs and much much more. The other virtues of charity, grace, devotion and salvation also come under the microscope.

The story concerns a young girl Gelsomina, played by Giulietta Masina who is sold by her poverty stricken mother into virtual bondage to Zampano a circus strongman, played by Anthony Quinn. We then follow her travels with Zampano on the road. Zampano is a brutish insensitive bully with no redeeming features. He is happy to steal from and assault people with little or no provocation. Much of his time is spent drinking and in the pursuit of any women that will fall for his dubious charms. But somehow the simple minded Gelsomina comes to love him despite the cruel way in which she is treated. Her innocence and optimism is never broken by Zampano. On the way she meets a circus acrobat played by Richard Basehart who changes her outlook on life. Events lead to an inevitable tragic finale.

Fellini wrote the role of Gelsomina for his actress wife Masina. It was certainly a juicy role which she made the most of and steals the acting honours, which is quite an achievement given the performances of Quinn and Basehart who were very good indeed. Masina's facial expressions and her body movements are certainly reminiscent of the silent comedians as has been pointed out in the past.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars simply moving 7 Sep 2006
The sweetest story ever, love brought to its mere essence, I was fascinated by all the characters' interpretation. Giulietta Masina - gelsomina - acts superbly.

Soundtrack is also adequately matching the whole environment.

Strongly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fellini's existentialism a la Henrik Ibsen 23 Aug 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
La Strada - Italian existentialism a la Ibsen.

Federico Fellini's "La Strada", the way I look at it, is not about the character and protagonista Gelsomina, beautifully played by Giulietta Massina, as much as it is about Zampanó (Anthony Quinn).
Federico Fellini asks a fundamental question: is Gelsomina's literally self-annihilating love enough to save the brute Zampanó who never loved anybody but himself? Even in the closing scene, senselessly drunk on the beach at sunrise, Zampanó cries out: "I need nobody!", whereupon the sun rises. Light floods the scene, is it the rays of love, the light of hope, we don't know.
Fellini, well versed in classic existentialism; literature, theater and drama, e.g. in Ibsen, Kierkegaard, Strindberg, and others, refers here, I think, to the final scene in Henrik Ibsen's "Peer Gynt". Peer's lifelong self-love is juxtaposed against Solveig's lifelong and unselfish love for Peer who finally sees, but maybe still does not fully understand. Thus, when the last scene fades out, or rather: the curtain falls for the last time, Zampanó's fate and Peer's is still pending decision, namely: Zampanó's (or Peer's) own decision".
I strongly recommend this film, it is arguably (one of) the best film(s) ever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
the best
Published 1 month ago by Lucy Mitchell
1.0 out of 5 stars Well, well, well
I m a great lover of Fellini movies.
But, the design of the packaging is so sad, so simple.
The transfer in not so fantastic. Read more
Published on 6 July 2012 by gelsomino
5.0 out of 5 stars poignant and unusual story of post-war Italians trying to live
This is a vivid film about a damaged young lady who is essentially sold like a slave to a wandering carney performer, played by Anthony Quinn. Read more
Published on 30 Aug 2011 by rob crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars My old mum could bust that chain ya big softie!
I was always told that Antony Quinn wasn't much of an actor and Richard Basehart was, less than 15 years later, the old bloke who was admiral in the 'Voyage to the Bottom of the... Read more
Published on 19 Oct 2010 by Mario
5.0 out of 5 stars A neo-realist road movie
Nino Rota's melody haunts this film to such an extent that the last scene left me sobbing. Fellini certainly yanked my heart strings with this neo-realist tale of the fate of... Read more
Published on 30 July 2010 by Room For A View
4.0 out of 5 stars La Strada - a masterpiece
A brilliant film with interesting supplementary booklet and also a crticial commentary section on the CD by the author of a biography of Fellini.
Published on 21 Nov 2009 by Martin B
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Moving Drama
This Federico Fellini movie about a couple of traveling performers never fails to make me cry. A simple minded young woman is forced to stay and work with a cruel ex-circus strong... Read more
Published on 25 Oct 2008 by JEY
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant & depressing
La Strada is ultimately a grim and downbeat tale, but the director Fellini makes you care about the characters involved. Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2007 by S J Buck
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty and the beast without the talking cutlery.
La strada is a beautifully crafted film, the acting might seem a bit contrived but this more to do with the characters rather than any lack of ability. Read more
Published on 19 May 2006 by Don Tones
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