La Strada (The Road). 1954. Italy. Directed by Federico Fellini. Screenplay by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano. With Giulietta Masina, Anthony Quinn, Richard Basehart. 4K digital restoration from the original negative. In Italian; English subtitles. 107 min.
The childlike Gelsomina, played by Fellini’s wife, Giulietta Masina, is sold to itinerant performer Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), who subjects her to multiple forms of abuse. While Zampanò, no more than a one-note stunt man, introduces Gelsomina to the world of performance, it is the young woman who proves to be the born entertainer, one whose charming acts mask the pain hidden behind her clownish façade. Her tragic story, graced by composer Nino Rota’s stirring score, lingers long after the end of the film. La Strada won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and catapulted Fellini and Masina to international stardom.