The Nights of Cabiria (1957)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB

Original title:  Le Notti di Cabiria

Italy/France, 1957.  , .  Story by Federico Fellini, , , Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by Piero Gherardi.  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  My Criterions.  

The best film from Fellini’s pre-Dolce Vita career is this scintillating comedy-drama that was the basis for the less impressive musical Sweet Charity. Cabiria (, in the best role of her career) is a prostitute with a hopeful heart who keeps putting her faith in human nature, and subsequently keeps getting disappointed. After one boyfriend leaves her in the dust and takes her purse, she goes home to resume life before falling in love again with someone new.  The nights she experiences and the heartbreaks she keeps encountering are beautifully recorded by Fellini’s sensitive camera and his excellent screenplay, coming to a terrific climax at a remarkable sequence on a religious pilgrimage.  There is no better an example of gritty realism being perfectly blended with starry-eyed fantasy.

The Criterion Collection:  #49

Academy Award:  Best Foreign Language Film

Cannes Film Festival Award:  Best Actress (Giulietta Masina)

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