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La Strada (The Road)

La Strada (The Road) (1954)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 20,605

My Rating

Movie Info

Acclaimed Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini drew on his own circus background for the 1954 classic La Strada. Set in a seedy travelling carnival, this symbolism-laden drama revolves around brutish strongman Zampano (Anthony Quinn), his simple and servile girlfriend Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina, Fellini's wife), and clown/aerialist Matto (Richard Basehart). Appalled at Zampano's insensitive treatment of Gelsomina, the gentle-natured Matto invites her to run off with him; but Gelsomina, like a

Nov 18, 2003

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (1) | DVD (13)

Early mush from the master, Federico Fellini.

April 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (16)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Symbols, metaphors, and larger-than-life performances hold sway, and moments of bizarre if inconsequential charm abound.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Signor Fellini has used his small cast, and, equally important, his camera, with the unmistakable touch of an artist. His vignettes fill his movie with beauty, sadness, humor and understanding.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As French critic Andre Bazin pointed out, 'The Fellini character does not evolve; he ripens.' And so do his movies.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

La Strada is the first film that can be called entirely 'Felliniesque.'

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The two lead performers...are marvelous and the imagery is gorgeous, with Fellini's precision cutting and dramatic lighting pointing the way to 8 1/2

August 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

It's the film that first brought international acclaim to Fellini.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Fellini once described this masterpiece, which marks his break with the strictures of neo-realism, as "the complete catalogue of my mythical world;" It could be seen as another, poetic version of Beauty and the Beast fable.

January 24, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Whimsical but gritty.

July 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A landmark in Federico Fellini's career.

June 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Two unforgettable performances anchor one of Fellini's most powerful films.

June 9, 2005
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Fellini made several films with actress Giulietta Masina, whom was also his wife, but the character of Gelsomina is the one which, over the years, has been most fondly spoken of and written about.

February 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Light Sleeper: Late Night Writings on Cinema

Leaves me cold… no critical account of it I have read has struck me as compelling or illuminating.

November 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

The searing, tearful tell that won Fellini his best Oscar for best foreign film and may be his finest masterpiece.

September 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Has an unmistakable other-ness to it, as it is an early precursor to the sort of magical realism that would take hold in Fellini's late-career efforts.

August 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

I loved every frame from the start.

January 5, 2004 Full Review

simple yet memorable

November 26, 2003 Full Review Source:

A fairly straightforward story whose poignancy is accentuated by Masina's delicate performance and Nino Rota's exquisite score.

November 25, 2003
Creative Loafing

One of Fellini's weakest films, but no less with all his basic assurances of competency.

July 10, 2003

An overwhelming humanism underscores the whole film and leaves its ultimate meaning up to interpretation.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Federico Fellini created a tragic story which is not depressing, but rather exhilarating and inspiring.

December 19, 2002 Full Review Source:

A marvellous film.

November 3, 2001 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for La Strada (The Road)

Fellini created a mélange of beauty with this mystical, fantastical story, that is more about the human condition, love, and suffering, than about entertainment, or more importantly, whimsy. It's really about a life wasted, and the extent of human suffering. What's worse is that the film continually shows uplifting, thoughtful scenes that you as the viewer believe will lead to a happy resolution for Gelsomina (Masina). It starts with her being sold to a strongman named Zampano (Quinn) (which of course bodes well for our heroine). She follows him around the country in a motorcycle traveling barrage, and works with him to be the comedic relief in his act. His solemn advances and possession over her amounts to Stockholm syndrome. She runs away and meets a clown (Basehart) who is poised to be the romantic lead. In reality he's only a red herring, and Gelsomina is stuck with Zampano as a companion, though neither likes nor tolerates the other. Gelsomina is also emotional, crying a lot of the time at her internment and the strongman's abuse. These two people should break apart, because neither is happy, and yet Zampano actually holds dominion over her, and won't let her go because he has monetary claim. It's a film of false starts and romantic tragedy, which makes it all the more horrific when the ending presents itself. Mythology and general lore definitely play a part in how the film is put together, and the whimsical tone and influences are obviously apparent in the tone and the way events are reflected in the narrative voice. The best thing about this film is that it looks and sounds like a quirky comedy about someone who deserves better, but really it's all about Zampano. He's the one who has command, he keeps Gelsomina hostage emotionally and physically, and he's the one we end on. It's his story to reflect on, and his to toil over in his mind. Though Gelsomina commands the screen most of the time, and is the person we feel for, it's not her end that we eventually see.
November 10, 2013

Super Reviewer

If you can ignore a few major plot-holes herein, I guess you'll enjoy the tragic journey (which hardly leads anywhere) of a girl in this classic movie.
June 19, 2011

Super Reviewer

My first Fellini movie, but definitely not my last. La Strada is an amazing film. At times it is very fun to watch and at others it is almost painful. It brings about an array of emotions that change throughout the entire movie.
May 8, 2011
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

master showman and producer dino de laurentiis died today aged 91. he produced over 160 films including la strada and nights of cabiria (both of which won oscars for best foreign film), blue velvet, manhunter, evil dead II and army of darkness, barbarella and danger: diabolik as well as many notorious flops. quite a career. rip
November 11, 2010
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Das Lied der Straße (DE)
  • The Road (La strada) (UK)
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