(out of 5)
Giulietta Masina plays a simpleminded villager whose mother gives her away to a circus performer (Anthony Quinn) in order to no longer have her mouth to feed. Masina travels with her new boss, assisting him with his many strongman performances and taking all of his emotional and physical abuse while growing fearfully attached to him. The interference of a tightrope walker (Richard Basehart) gives her a newfound confidence that makes her feel that she can finally distance herself from Quinn. Only Fellini was ever this good at mixing gritty drama with a healthy sense of imaginative fancy, and this film and Nights of Cabiria are the best examples. The film was the first to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film after it became a competitive category, and it established Fellini’s name eternally in world cinema.
Directed by Federico Fellini
Cinematography by Otello Martelli
Music by Nino Rota
Production Design by Mario Ravasco
Costume Design by Margherita Marinari
Film Editing by Leo Catozzo