Down 335 this week

La Strada (1954)
"La strada" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  16 July 1956 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 43,418 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 80 critic

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.



(story), (story), 2 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 19 Jun 2011
a list of 22 titles
created 12 Feb 2013
a list of 27 titles
created 02 Apr 2013
a list of 43 titles
created 27 Apr 2014
a list of 34 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Search for "La Strada" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: La Strada (1954)

La Strada (1954) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of La Strada.

User Polls

Top 250 Movies #243 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale
Amarcord (1973)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio
I Vitelloni (1953)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A character study of five young men at crucial turning points in their lives in a small town in Italy.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Directors: Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
Diabolique (1955)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The wife of a cruel headmaster and his mistress conspire to kill him, but after the murder is committed, his body disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stars: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bitter aging couple with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi


Complete credited cast:
Aldo Silvani ...
Marcella Rovere ...
Livia Venturini ...


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You've been hearing about a great picture called La Strada (The Road) it is here!




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 July 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La Strada  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Walt Disney expressed serious interest in creating an animated feature based on Gelsomina. "I could have lived on Gelsomina for twenty years," he said. See more »


When Zampanò meets the Fool while he is repairing a flat tire on his car, the left front wheel is removed and the car is jacked. Right after the altercation, when Zampanò pushes the Fool's car, the wheel rim is back and not jacked anymore. See more »


The Fool: Maybe he loves you?
Gelsomina: Me?
The Fool: Why not? He is like dogs. A dog looks at you, wants to talk, and only barks.
See more »


Referenced in Alex in Wonderland (1970) See more »


(1954) (uncredited)
Music by Nino Rota and Michele Galdieri
Published by Leeds
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

La Strada: Fellini's masterpiece
19 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is the early sixties in Annapolis, Maryland. Although a Third Class Petty Officer in the Navy, I am still in my teens & have never sampled the cinema except for what Hollywood has had to offer. I have just stumbled out of a theater & I am stunned yet aware that I have just witnessed a work of art that was devoid of compromise. That work was La Strada, a cinematic creation directed by Federico Fellini. I have viewed this film several times since but it never pales & each time I take away something new. In this post I'll concentrate on the main characters & some of the cast.

Anthony Quinn was perfect for the role of Zampano, the grubby strongman performer touring the villages & countryside of post-WW2 Italy. No other actor of the day could have possibly brought what Quinn brings to the role. There may have been some European actor who would not have shamed himself in the part, but I can't think of who it might have been & certainly no actor known by Hollywood could have done so well as Quinn. One has to resort to other eras & reach far into the imagination to attempt such speculation. If Wallace or Noah Beery, sr. could have managed a not too corrupted Italian persona; perhaps. If Gilbert Roland had lifted weights & taken supplements for a year; maybe. Victor McLaglen could never have passed for Italian – don't laugh – he had the rugged looks & the physique. Ricardo Montalban? Too handsome. Ditto, Victor Mature. Mitchum was way too 'American.' Nehemiah Persoff, Eli Wallach, Telly Savalas, Rod Steiger, Karl Malden, even Van Heflin, all considered, all rejected. Brando might have been credible. One remembers "A Streetcar Named Desire" & "On the Waterfront" & thinks: Possibly. But Quinn plays the role as if it was what he was put on earth to do.

Quinn's Zampano is earthily callous yet the viewer senses vulnerability buried deep within the character. Among other facets his perfect performance presents to the viewer is a faintly perceived inkling of past disappointments, of indirectly inferred reasons that Zampano is cruel & insensitive. Quinn's consummate technique paints the broad picture of a lout yet the viewer is able to pull a slender thread of sympathy from his character & that sympathy is necessary for the end of the movie. To be very bad & to still be likable, if only barely, is produced by Quinn as if it were a gift to the viewer. It is acting on the highest possible plane.

Giulietta Masina plays Gelsomina, a tattered urchin Zampano purchases from her poverty-bested mother. Here too, the viewer witnesses genius of casting. Masina's face is one of Fellini's main canvases in the film. It mugs, it displays pride, love & resignation in fleeting cascades of expression, sometimes all within a second. Even without the plasticity of her face her body alone would be enough to write volumes for the viewer. It gambols, prances, pratfalls & cunningly sneaks, sometimes at breakneck speed though the viewer's eye is never allowed to blur these perceptions despite the rapidity of much of the execution.

Richard Basehart plays the Fool, foil to Quinn's brute. Whereas Quinn's act subsists on feats of strength, Basehart's character is all about finesse: juggling, acrobatics & tightrope-walking. Zampano is awkward on those occasions that he attempts real affection toward Gelsomina. The Fool is light strokes of joviality; joking & flirting is his natural mode. Zampano's voice is gruff and in the baritone range; Basehart's lines are delivered high-pitched, with a lilting modulation. However, just as Zampano has an almost hidden vein of sensitivity, Basehart imbues his lighthearted portrayal with a close to imperceptible strand of hardness.

The vehicle of the plot is a journey, but a journey with no particular physical destination. In a work such as "Huckleberry Finn" Twain provides a direction(down-river with the current). Here the characters appear to wander aimlessly from place to place, seemingly interacting by chance with whoever they meet & somehow this very lack of goal helps to give the piece a lifelike aura of randomness. The viewer becomes unaware of watching a film. Like all truly great works of art, technique never intrudes & the viewer could be a fly on the wall.

This lack of artificiality allows the viewer to be fully immersed in the unfolding events. The landscape is the blasted Italian environment just after WW2 & is symbolic of the work's bleak message. The camera rolls on weeds, shacks, broken concrete, poorly maintained roadways, dry, desolate hinterlands & famine-ridden villages. There is no looking away allowed, the viewer is made to see, forced to behold stark realities.

It is impossible to say exactly what makes this film a masterpiece. By a mysterious & perhaps lucky combination of ingredients it propels itself into the highest circle of cinema. The end is emotionally wrenching & I would venture that few are able to leave it as I did long ago in Annapolis without a sense of having been deeply moved.

62 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did Gelsomina and Zampano Have Carnal Relations? bebop63-1
Richard Basehart jeffreyholmes
Top 20 Movies List ericsinla
missed out on a perfect ending roy-gilham
La Strada is in the top 250! nicknc1214
didn't like it - unlike other Fellini's jocheml
Discuss La Strada (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: