The Vintagent Classics: The films that inspired us. 

La Strada (The Road) (1954)

Run Time: 1:48:00
Director: Federico Fellini
Writer: Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano
Key Cast: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart

FILM MAKERS

Fellini called La Strada “a complete catalogue of my entire mythological world, a dangerous representation of my identity that was undertaken with no precedent whatsoever.” As a result, the film demanded more time and effort than any of his other works, before or since. The development process was long and tortuous; there were various problems during production, including insecure financial backing, problematic casting, and numerous delays. Finally, just before the production completed shooting, Fellini suffered a nervous breakdown that required medical treatment so he could complete principal photography. Initial critical reaction was harsh, and the film’s screening at the Venice Film Festival was the occasion of a bitter controversy that escalated into a public brawl between Fellini’s supporters and detractors.

La Strada is now considered one of the most influential films ever made.

SUMMARY

There has never been a face quite like that of Giulietta Masina. Her husband, the legendary Federico Fellini, directs her as Gelsomina in La strada, the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal strongman in a traveling circus. When Zampanò encounters an old rival in highwire artist the Fool (Richard Basehart), his fury is provoked to its breaking point. With La strada, Fellini left behind the familiar signposts of Italian neorealism for a poetic fable of love and cruelty, evoking brilliant performances and winning the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide. – Criterion

A note for Vintagent readers: Zampano & Gelsomina travel the Italian countryside in a Vardo built out of a 1945 Sertum 500 Motocarro.

RELATED MEDIA

Watch the film for free in Italian on Youtube

Buy the DVD collector edition: Criterion Collection


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