Sad story of a waif, Gelsomina, who is sold by her mother to Zampano for 10,000 lire and a few kilos of food. Zampano is a traveling showman who exhibits feats of strength by breaking a chain wrapped around his chest. He performs in village squares and then passes the hat for whatever the normally small crowd is prepared to give. He teaches Gelsomina a drum roll as part of his introduction. He doesn't treat her well and when she tries to run away, he beats her. They eventually join a small traveling circus where they meet a tight-rope walker who convinces Gelsomina to question her choices. Written by
Very early on in the filming process, Giulietta Masina suffered a severe ankle sprain. This was potentially quite a serious setback since the film's financial backing was tenuous and producers had initially objected to Masina's casting. The injury stalled production for several weeks and led to a scheduling conflict for Anthony Quinn who had signed on to play the title role in Attila (1954). In an exceptionally gracious move, Quinn offered to continue working on this film to spare the production any further setbacks. He endured a grueling schedule, working for this film in the mornings and filming Attila during the evenings. See more »
When Gelsomina leaves Zampanò, she walks by the road and sits down on the roadside near a small group of trees (about 4-5 m away). When the trio of musicians marches past, she appears to have moved back down the road as the height and appearance of the roadside behind her have changed and it takes the musicians, with Gelsomina following, some time to reach the point where the trees are. See more »
I am ignorant, but I read books. You won't believe it, everything is useful... this pebble for instance.
Anyone. It is useful.
For... I don't know. If I knew I'd be the Almighty, who knows all. When you are born and when you die... Who knows? I don't know for what this pebble is useful but it must be useful. For if its useless, everything is useless. So are the stars!
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La Strada brings two souls together to tell a story that ultimately displays humanity's finer aspects. The title gives a clue to the meaning of Fellini's masterpiece: The Way. The brute, Zampano, buys the urchin-like Gelsomina to be his traveling companion in his one-man carnival act. He is physically and emotionally cruel to her. Her longing to love and be loved, and her child-like, yet acute perception of life, and desire to live it, despite hardships, makes her the perfect complement to the selfish and despicable Zampano. Their unification affects each other. However, although Zampano's harshness adversely effects Gelsomina's life, it is her influence that will eventually, and more significantly, change him. This may sound like the familiar Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, but it is more than a love story. It is about love, but it isn't until the very end of the film that we realize it. More than love, it is about a man who gains insight and awareness because of love. It is his finale transformation that demonstrates both the frailty and vitality of the human condition. It overpoweringly suggests that the individual, no matter how depraved, is able to spiritually evolve.
Every frame and scene in this masterpiece has purpose and meaning.
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