Friday, July 15 - Monday, July 18, 2016
“[Fellini’s] story of an itinerant strong man and the simpleminded girl who is his foil and helpmeet is a modern picaresque parable. Like life itself, it is seemingly aimless, disjointed on occasion and full of truth and poetry. Like the principals, it wanders along a sad and sometimes comic path while accentuating man’s loneliness and need for love… Signor Fellini’s theme offers neither a happy ending so dear to the hearts of escapists nor a clear-cut and shiningly hopeful plot. Suffice it to say that his study of his principals is honest and unadorned, strikingly realistic and yet genuinely tender and compassionate. LA STRADA is a road well worth traveling.
“The story, let it be said at the outset, is, like its protagonists, simplicity itself. A boorish and brutish strong man literally buys a happy but mentally incompetent lass from her impoverished mother to serve as his clown, cook and concubine. She is replacing her sister, who has died. He teaches her some simple routines as they bowl along in his motorcycle-trailer—clowning and simple tunes on a cornet—to serve as a come-on to his pitifully corny act of breaking chains across his chest.
“…Anthony Quinn is excellent as the growling, monosyllabic and apparently ruthless strong man, whose tastes are primitive and immediate. But his characterization is sensitively developed so that his innate loneliness shows through the chinks of his rough exterior. As the cheerful and prescient clown, Richard Basehart, like the haunting background score by Nino Rota, provides a humorous but pointed counterpoint to the towering and basically serious delineations of the two principals.
“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.” –New York Times
Part of the series Fellini, July 1-September 25
- Country Italy
- Year 1954
- Director Federico Fellini
IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.