La Strada (The Road)
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Acclaimed Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini drew on his own circus background for the 1954 classic La Strada. Set in a seedy travelling carnival, this symbolism-laden drama revolves around brutish strongman Zampano (Anthony Quinn), his simple and servile girlfriend Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina, Fellini's wife), and clown/aerialist Matto (Richard Basehart). Appalled at Zampano's insensitive treatment of Gelsomina, the gentle-natured Matto invites her to run off with him; but Gelsomina, like a faithful pet, refuses to leave the strong man's side. Eventually Zampano's volcanic… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Early mush from the master, Federico Fellini."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"As French critic Andre Bazin pointed out, 'The Fellini character does not evolve; he ripens.' And so do his movies."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"It's the film that first brought international acclaim to Fellini."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A landmark in Federico Fellini's career."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Leaves me cold… no critical account of it I have read has struck me as compelling or illuminating."
‑ Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films Guide
"Symbols, metaphors, and larger-than-life performances hold sway, and moments of bizarre if inconsequential charm abound."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"La Strada is the first film that can be called entirely 'Felliniesque.'"
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Fellini once described this masterpiece, which marks his break with the strictures of neo-realism, as "the complete catalogue of my mythical world;" It could be seen as another, poetic version of Beauty and the Beast fable."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Two unforgettable performances anchor one of Fellini's most powerful films."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"The searing, tearful tell that won Fellini his best Oscar for best foreign film and may be his finest masterpiece."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"Signor Fellini has used his small cast, and, equally important, his camera, with the unmistakable touch of an artist. His vignettes fill his movie with beauty, sadness, humor and understanding."
‑ A.H. Weiler, New York Times
"The two lead performers...are marvelous and the imagery is gorgeous, with Fellini's precision cutting and dramatic lighting pointing the way to 8 1/2"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Whimsical but gritty."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"Fellini made several films with actress Giulietta Masina, whom was also his wife, but the character of Gelsomina is the one which, over the years, has been most fondly spoken of and written about."
‑ Saul Symonds, Light Sleeper: Late Night Writings on Cinema
"Has an unmistakable other-ness to it, as it is an early precursor to the sort of magical realism that would take hold in Fellini's late-career efforts."
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
More reviews for La Strada (The Road) on Rotten Tomatoes