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 44,194 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

Top Rated Movies #242 | 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
Drama | Romance
    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
    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
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 8.4/10 X  

A man and his son search for a stolen bicycle vital for his job.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Drama | 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
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


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?


Federico Fellini had an extraordinarily difficult time finding producers who were willing to back the film. Several of the producers who had previously financed Fellini's work felt that the script was promising but that the film would be unlikely to turn a profit. Other potential backers were turned off by Fellini's insistence that his wife, Giulietta Masina, should play the role of Gelsomina. Fellini began shooting the film before any financial backers had officially signed on. See more »


The bonnet of the Fool's car is up as he repairs the tire and during the fight with Zampanò. When Zampanò pushes the car over the edge, it is closed. 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 Familiar Spirits (1966) 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

Gelsomina and Zampano
8 December 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"La Strada" established Federico Fellini as one of the best Italian directors of his generation. Working with his usual collaborator, Tulio Pinelli, the master created a human story that is still, as fresh today, as when it opened. The fantastic musical score by Nino Rota gives the film an elegance that transcend the poor background of the people one sees in the movie. Also, the crisp black and white photography by Otelo Martelli enhances our enjoyment.

This could be considered Fellini's first masterpiece. His previous work was, of course, excellent, but with "La Strada", he proved he had an amazing understanding of the characters he presents to us. It is almost as though, he had known these people all his life and just decided to incorporate them in a movie. This is a film that showed an Italy that had suffered a defeat during WWII. Italy was struggling to heal itself from the horrible times it had lived during the conflict and what the director and his collaborators show us is an impoverished country trying to cope with the new reality. La Strada" is a film about the suffering and hard times the citizens had gone through, but also shows hope in an uncertain future.

Zampano, the brutish street performer, was a man that showed no redeeming qualities. He returned to the beach shack where Rosa's mother and siblings live to tell them about her death. Watching the young and innocent Gelsomina, he figures he has found a substitute for the act. Zampano is a misogynistic man who only cares about his pleasure, not paying any attention to the needs of the young woman who is not street wise.

The film, in a way, is Fellini's type of 'road movie' because we are taken along the byways of the country, before the construction of the super highways, to witness Zampano as he practices his trade from town to town. Gelsomina soon catches on, and in her heart she believes Zampano is, in his own way, the man for her. Unfortunately, Zampano leaves Gelsomina whenever a new woman strikes his fancy. He uses Gelsomina as a slave.

When they meet Il Matto, the good natured tight wire artist, Zampano notices how Gelsomina responds to this kind soul. Il Matto, in spite of what he feels about Zampano, advises Gelsomina to stay with him. A fatal judgment it proves to be. Tragedy arrives when Zampano and Gelsomina run into Il Matto on the road. This incident unravels Zampano as he begins a spiral descent into hell because his conscience doesn't let him have peace, and in turn, Gelsomina, makes sure to let him know she knows the immensity of what he has done.

Zampano in abandoning Gelsomina thinks he has solved all his problems, but a few years later he comes across a young woman who is humming the song that Gelsomina used to sing. In fact, we learn what happened to the sweet girl, and we are shocked and saddened. Zampano, who seems to be a man without any feeling, upon learning this walks away, but his guilt gets the best of him and we watch him as he breaks down as the film comes to an end.

Anthony Quinn had one of the best moments of his long and distinguished career with Zampano. His understanding of this cruel man makes the film work the way it does. Mr. Quinn's interpretation of the street performer is real and we can see what kind of man he really is. Our perception of this man, who has led us to believe he has a heart of stone changes at the end when we see his breakdown.

Giulietta Masina is perfect as Gelsomina. This actress, married to Mr. Fellini, had an uncanny way of transforming herself into the young and naive woman and makes her come alive. Gelsomina personifies all the best qualities any person could aspire to have. It comes naturally for her to be good; Gelsomina doesn't have malice and is a grown up child in many ways.

Richard Basehart has some good moments in the film as Il Matto. In fact, Fellini elicited a great performance from this actor, who took a big gamble accepting the challenge that his character demanded from him. Mr. Basehart proved he was an extraordinary actor and it shows in this film.

"La Strada" is a film that will live forever thanks to the man who had the vision to bring it to the screen: Federico Fellini!

84 of 91 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: