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La Strada (1954)

La strada (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 16 July 1956 (USA)
1:34 | Trailer
A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.


Federico Fellini


Federico Fellini (story and screenplay), Tullio Pinelli (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Anthony Quinn ... Zampanò
Giulietta Masina ... Gelsomina
Richard Basehart ... The Fool
Aldo Silvani Aldo Silvani ... Giraffa
Marcella Rovere Marcella Rovere ... Widow
Livia Venturini Livia Venturini ... Nun


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


Academy Award Winner See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Pope Francis named La Strada as his favorite movie of all time. See more »


When Zampanò leaves the trumpet with Gelsomina, she is in shadow. But the next shot of her as he looks back, she is in full sun. See more »


Prostitute: Wool? This ain't no wool! I could stick my toes through it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The German theatrical version was cut by about 6 minutes to speed up the films pacing. DVD release also contains the Italian uncut version as a bonus feature. See more »


Featured in Have You Seen My Movie? (2016) See more »


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

User Reviews

Fellini masterpiece about a simple-minded woman sold to a brutal traveling showman and both of them tour on the road
1 December 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Sad story of a waif , shy woman , Gelsomina (Giulietta Massina , Federico's real-life wife) , who is sold by her mother to Zampano for 10,000 lire and a few kilos of food . Brute Zampano (Anthony Quinn) is a cruel , coarse , strong-man who shows his vigour by breaking a chain wrapped around his chest . They tour on the road ("la Strada") , along the countryside where they perform in village squares and she helps him as a drummer during his shows and passing the hat for whatever the regularly small crowd is prepared to give . They join a small traveling circus where eventually meet up with a gentle acrobat (Richard Basehart) and the unexpected happenings go wrong .

Sensitive and agreeable film film packs intense drama , emotion , good feeling and tragedy . The picture is , by turns , strong and amusing . Here Fellini demonstrates a real sensibility to the underprivileged of the world and his belief in spiritual redemption . Fellini's fantasy ostensibly elucidates the inner life of a poor and normally mistreated woman . The flick contains a highly symbolic internal logic , enjoyable imagery and bizarre , abstract plot peppered with risqué humor . Here Fellini uses the unfortunate story of a distressed woman delivering over her life to create a good and often wild film . The film relies heavily on the peculiar relationship between Gelsomina and Zampano , but it doesn't make boring but interesting ; as he doesn't treat her well and when she tries to run away , he beats her . Magnificent interpretations all around . Trio protagonist is frankly awesome . Nice performance by Giulietta Massina as the waif sold by her very poor mother and she feels like going with him , but he puts confusion in her mind and finally falls in love with him despite his abuse . Excellent Anthony Quinn as the traveling , itinerant showman , Zampano exhibits feats of strength and meanwhile he ill-treats her . Anthony Quinn was working on a film with Giulietta Masina when she introduced him to her husband , Federico who was immediately convinced that the Mexican actor would make the perfect Zampano the strongman in his new film , which was to become La Strada (1954), and implored him to accept the character . And sympathetic acting by Richard Basehart as a tight-rope walker "The Fool", a funambulist who convinces Gelsomina to question her choices . Well produced by two greatest Italian producers , Dino De Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti , who originally wanted Silvana Mangano , Dino's wife , and Burt Lancaster as the leads . However , at the beginning Federico Fellini had an extraordinarily difficult time finding producers who were willing to back the film and he began shooting the film before any financial backers had officially signed on .

The motion picture was masterfully directed by Federico Fellini , he admitted that he each of the principal characters in the film represented the elements . Zampano represented the Earth , Gelsomina represented water, and the Fool represented air . It won the first ever Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (1956) and N.Y Critics Award to Foreign Film (56) . Fellini who inspired the word "Felliniesque" was one of the best Italian filmmakers/writers . He frequently cast Marcello Mastroianni and Giulietta Masina and Score by Nino Rota . His best works include dreams like imagery and nostalgia . He made Italian classics , such as : ¨8 and 1/2¨, ¨Roma¨, ¨Satyricon¨, ¨I Vitellone¨ , ¨La Dolce Vita¨ , ¨The clowns¨, ¨Casanova¨, ¨And the ship sails on¨, "City of Women" , "Orchestra Rehearsal" and directed his spouse Giulietta in various films such as : ¨The white sheik¨ , ¨Il Bidone¨, ¨Juliet of the Spirits¨, "The Nights of Cabiria" ¨Ginger and Fred¨ and including some auto-biographic elements , especially in ¨Amarcord¨ (1973) , though he denied his film is autobiographical , but agreed that there are similarities with his own childhood .

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Release Date:

16 July 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Road See more »

Filming Locations:

Via Corinto, Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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