Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria) (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria) (1957)

Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria) (1957)

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Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria) Photos

Movie Info

Nights of Cabiria opens with Cabiria (Giulietta Masina) and her boyfriend playfully embracing by the seaside -- and then he shoves her into the water and steals her purse. Cabiria is revived by some local boys and runs off by herself, shouting. What follows is a series of similarly humiliating episodes, in which the defiantly positive prostitute Cabiria is hurt, but never broken. She gets picked up by movie star Alberto Lazzati (Amedeo Nazzari, doing a self-parody) and taken to his palatial estate. However, his mistress shows up and Cabiria gets locked in the bathroom all night with the dog. She then joins her fellow prostitutes for a blessing from the Virgin Mary, and ends up getting drunk and wandering into a local show, where the hypnotist invites her to join him on-stage. The audience heckles her, and she toughly reminds them of her independence and that she owns her own house. There she meets Oscar (François Perier), an accountant who romantically pursues her. Despite the warnings of her fellow prostitute friend, Wanda (Franca Marzi), she prepares to sell all her belongings and accept Oscar's proposal of marriage. After being ruthlessly taken advantage of once again, Cabiria walks off alone with a smirk of hope.

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Cast

François Périer
as Oscar D'Onofrio
Amedeo Nazzari
as Alberto Lazzari
Aldo Silvani
as Hypnotist
Mario Passante
as Amleto's Uncle
Mimmo Poli
as Man Eating in the Nightclub
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News & Interviews for Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria)

Critic Reviews for Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria)

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (11)

In 1957, Fellini was still as indebted to neo-realism as to surrealism, and this melancholy tale of a prostitute working the outskirts of Rome is notable for its straightforward depiction of destitution.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

What makes the character so poignant is that her final fortification is not her street wisdom -- that's all surface -- but her innocence. Her ultimate protection is our sympathy for her.

July 21, 2005

Even in the mutilated version of the film, Masina shone and sparkled in her shabby role.

May 19, 2005 | Full Review…

Through [Masina's] unforgettable performance, Cabiria will endure as long as anyone cares to watch transcendence projected on a screen.

February 13, 2001 | Full Review…

A deep, wrenching and eloquent filmgoing experience.

January 1, 2000

The gift of Cabiria's essence, freed from the determinism of stories, is to return us to our own.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4

Audience Reviews for Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria)

Giulietta Masina should be forever remembered for her flawless performance in this profoundly touching and devastating tragicomic masterpiece, making us root for her character and her happiness in such a way that it is hard to be left unmoved by what unfolds before us.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Giulietta Masina ("La strada") is absolutely devastating in her role as the titular Cabiria in "Nights of Cabiria" (and when I say devastating, I mean it only in the best sense). Cabiria is quite a character to say the least. A prostitute who puts on a big loud and tough exterior yet is almost fatally naive when it comes to love. In an opening scene, her boyfriend robs her and pushes her in the river to drown. She tries to play it off as an accident, a lover's tiff, but her friends know better. All of her mannerisms suggest someone who's putting on an act, and it doesn't feel as if we're ever allowed to see the "real" Cabiria. Well, almost. Towards the end of the film, we're shown (quite intentionally by director Federico Fellini) the true motivations of certain characters. It's this foreshadowing, allowing the audience in on things, that makes it so heartbreaking when Cabiria finally catches on. Cabiria is all the innocence of the world that we must so desperately cling to, in order to preserve even the slightest remainder of it. Giulietta Masina was married to Fellini for many years and it's through her we see his unique world view focused. Nights of Cabiria features many Fellini signatures: the robust yet voluptious woman, the skeletal structure silhouetted against the sky, and the seemingly random parade of fools, which in Cabiria's world, signals the final triumph of innocence over cynicism: that even in the darkest hour, we can be swayed to smile by the music of children, if it is truly in our nature to do so.

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Bellisimo!!!

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

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