A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
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
Dino De Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti originally wanted Silvana Mangano, Dino's wife, and Burt Lancaster as the leads. See more »
While Gelsomina is sitting against the stone wall in the mountains, the light changes from shadow to direct sun. See more »
[reciting his act by rote before a crowd]
Here we have a piece of chain that is a quarter of an inch thick. It is made of crude iron, stronger than steel. With the simple expansion of my pectoral muscles, or chest, that is, I'll break the hook.
[collecting money from the crowd]
Thank you, thank you. Now, to do this feat, I must fill myself up like a tire. If a blood vessel should break, I would spit blood. For instance, in Milan a man weighing 240 pounds lost his eyesight doing this trick. That ...
[...] See more »
This is one of the most influential films of all time, it is the classical example, where "less" is always "more". The story is deceivingly simple and it feels at the beginning almost like a piece from "commedia del arte", however the master touch of Fellini's heart and vision talk to us directly through the canvas of Gesolmina's face (Giulietta Massina was his wife in real life). You don't need big words or a crafty developed script. This is like music, speaks directly it does not need translation even most non-Italian speakers find themselves more and more immersed in the visual aspects of this drama, it seems in many aspects surreal (I'll develop this point later) and distant but at the same time there is an underlying tension brought up by the close ups and the music revealing all those emotions much more close to our hearts than we are at first openly willing to admit. This is cinema at its best ladies and gentlemen. No special effects, no grandiose vistas, no colors, no extra help. The intimate nature of these characters feelings talk and paint more pictures than anything else can convey. Regarding the intimate relationship of Fellini and his movies there are already many of his little "secrets or eccentricities" that he imposes in all his films, they all have relevant hidden messages, such as the "white mysterious horse" and the haunting "trumpet melody" are just some of them. Those interested in Fellini's oeuvre should have the pleasure to uncover them with more of his viewing of what this all means, in same cases there is a definite reason in others he leaves it to your own devices and interpretation. He constantly teases us with contradictory emotions, sadness and laughter, complicated and simple, logical and absurd, brutish and angelical. Finally this film is like a great banquet, it seems to drag at he beginning and makes you think that is going to be too long and then at the end it seems too abrupt and you want it to continue, but most importantly leaves with us a savor that will linger in our minds for a long time, those who are sensitive to Fellini's vision will carry this for ever and hunger for more, those indifferent will dismiss it as an extravagant little piece and may be curios for another one. Once thing is for certain, nobody will ever forget Gesolmina's face.
29 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?