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
Anthony Quinn who was Cecil B de Mille's son in law told the story of showing La Strada to his father in law. It seems that De Mille couldn't take it. He asked for the projection to be interrupted in more than one occasion. He was disturbed, confused. Maybe it was the simplicity, the total lack of artifice. Let's remember Fellini shot it in the immediate post-war Italy with no means whatsoever and here it was, a masterpiece changing the world of cinema pushing us to a reality that was as pungent as it was poetic. The heartbreaking story of Gelsomina - an extraordinary Giulietta Masina - and Zampano - a spectacular prime Anthony Quinn who plays his humanoid with shattering truth - went to become a global sensation and an Oscar winner. Apparently, after the film was over, Cecil B de Mille got up and left the room without saying a word.
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