Le Notti di Cabiria
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  • It doesn't get much better than this!
    This is Italian cinema at it's greatest. The master Fellini has given the film world such a masterpiece, that many viewings are in order to fully appreciate this timeless classic. The fabulous Guilletta Masina gives one of the world's greatest performances. This is truly not to be missed. The Criterion Collection DVD is of incredible quality - sharp, clear, restored to all the film's greatness. May they produce all of Fellini's movies!...more info
  • Proof that film can be art and Fellini is a great artist.
    Along with "Au Revoir les Enfants", this is probably one of the most poignant films I have ever seen. Mere words fail to do justice to Giulietta Massina's performance, and the vivid neorealistic backdrop makes her Cabiria all the more engaging and sad. The performances of the supporting cast are all memorable long after one has seen the film. And Fellini effectively captures the hope and the hopelessness that the institutional church can engender. I would give this one ten stars if the scale allowed for it....more info
  • Perfect, beautiful, unforgettable
    This is my #1 favorite movie by Fellini, or anyone!
    You will watch it and be strengthened by it. You will
    fall in love, with Cabiria, Giulietta Masina, Federico Fellini,
    Italy, art, film, truth, and your most vulnerable, exposed, beautiful
    This is what art can do!...more info
  • a pretty nice film
    This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.

    The film's original title is "Le Notti di Cabiria" and was later remade as the film Sweet Charity with Shirley MacClaine.

    This film is the story of a prostitute trying unsucessfully to find true love. This edition includes a famous "man with a sack" scene that was cut from from the film and is shown for the first time on home video. The film has good acting and some scenes with great humor.

    the special features on the DVD include the original trailer, an audio interview with producer Dino DeLaurentiis, a video interview with Fellini's assistant, Dominique Delouche (conducted at his apartment in Paris) A scene from the film "The White Sheik" which was later released by Criterion, and a demo of the restoration.

    The restoration is very impressive and shows how they were able to take a film that had faded severly and make it look almost brand new. The demonstration alone, is worth renting the DVD. If you like Fellini's movies, Buy it....more info

  • Striking
    At times, both funny, uplifting, and devastating. An evenly paced movie that slowly drags you into this lady's life and the recurring letdowns she suffers. Her inner charm and response to these events feed you with energy and yet, at the end, you are devastated. The restoration by Criterion is beyond belief. Check out the DVD extras for comparisons. I can't stop thinking about this lady and what must drive her....more info
  • Nights of Cabiria
    In this bittersweet, poignant early feature from Italian maestro Fellini, Giulietta Masina (who was married to the director) brings off another demanding role with finesse and charm. Her Cabiria is a spiritual innocent thrust into the least innocent of professions, making her desire for meaningful companionship seem unattainable. Through it all, Masina radiates a plucky dignity that makes us root for her. Note: "Cabiria" is more grounded in realism than Fellini's later works, but this hardly detracts from the film's sizable emotional impact....more info
  • An Excellent Movie
    Fellini creates a real classic for the first 80 minutes of this. His sense for "poetry" is in full evidence. The characters, settings, and situations will stay with you forever.

    However, the ending is not entirely satisfactory. It reflects Fellini's then-belief in "neorealism". And, like many neo-realistic films, it won't make you feel good. Which is why I see this as a brilliant warm-up exercise to "La Dolce Vita", which explores some of the same themes.

    The print on this DVD is wonderful. The extras are quite nice. The interviews with Domenick deLoche and Dino deLaurentis are wonderful, and had me laughing out loud about this wonderful man, Fellini....more info

  • Collector's Gem
    Quality counts with the folks at The Criterion Collection, not just technically but in content too. This is one of Fellini's most fully realized films and the nostalgia and unflinching gaze that pervades all his best work is present in every frame. Everyone mentions Giulietta Masina's performance and there's a reason for that. She is brilliant. One of the most heart wrenching performances ever put on film. The DVD includes the "Man with the Sack" sequence that producer Dino de Laurentiis (more recently the production powerhouse behind the Hannibal Lecter franchise) excised from the original release. One can understand why a producer would want to trim it out - but its inclusion here makes the film seem larger somehow and Criterion should be applauded for putting it back in. This DVD is a vital part of your Fellini DVD Collection should you be assembling one. And you are, aren't you?...more info
  • cabiria's dream
    My favorite Fellini movie. The scene in the the theater where Cabiria agrees (after her initial endearing cantankerousness) to undergo the magician's "spell" is a gem of tonal shift; reminiscent of Baptiste Debureau's first mime appearance in Carne's Children of Paradise, and (probably not so coincidently) Woody Allen's wacky theatrical hypnotism scene in Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Giulietta Masina is entrancing as always. To top it off, the musical score by Nino Rota is haunting and whimsical....more info
  • The Best Movie I Have Ever Seen
    There really hasn't been a better movie since Nights Of Cabiria. I saw this film many moons ago in college and to this day I have yet to see anything that makes me feel happier and more optimistic about life. It has every element that makes a good movie GREAT -- love, hate, happiness, sadness, and most of all, eternal optimism. The star character Cabiria is something out of the book of 'How To Write A Compelling Character.' You want more for her then she wants for herself. You want to see her succeed. You want everything for her. You want to know where she is today. You see yourself in her. She is brilliantly played by Giulietta Masina. Every filmmaker, screenwriter and actor should study this film. Any person with a tender heart should see this film. As for me, I do not think I could like someone who did not like this film. Silly, I know, but I simply have never been able to get over the fact of someone not 'getting' this movie. Some kind of artistic, life, or senstativity chip would have to be lacking -- at least that is what I tell myself. Yes, silly. Oh well....more info
  • Outstanding!!!
    I saw this movie almost a year ago on the "Flix" pay channel. I was mesmerized! I priced it on several web sights featuring videos and was astonished at the price $35 and up. I waited to see if it would come down. It didn't and I couldn't wait any longer. Let me say it was worth every penny that I paid for it! I think Fellini captures the spirit of the character Cabiria, and Gulietta Masina makes Cabiria her own. Wonderfully engaging and emotionally touching. I highly recommend it....more info
  • lovely and disturbing
    One of my fave movies of all time. Enough said. Original in plot, characters, and conflict. Watch it, and then be prepared to own it and love it....more info
  • A Story About Human Cruelty And Courage
    This is probably a film which many can relate to. I know I can. I think I've been duped just as many times as she (the protagonist) has. It is basically a film about innocence and hope versus the world of men, lies, and filth (sorry, didn't mean to include all three together). I saw it when it was re-released in theatres in 1998. Never forgot it. The scenes of utmost cruelty perpetrated on the protagonist are unforgettable and what's scary is that these were things which were once probably very shocking to see on the big screen and now happen to almost anyone in today's world gone sour....more info
  • Admirable
    In a single word: admirable ! I can't write anything more. This movie is a chef d'oeuvre de Fellini. Cirterion is wonderfull, without equal !...more info
  • Fellini's finest.
    More of a showcase for the talents of his wife than an actual film, 'Nights of Cabiria' - one of Fellini's earlier triumphs is a series of sketches and has a real sense of transition - between Fellini's early narrative based films, and his later films., that were more concerned with ideas and the dissection of themes than actually following a rigid narrative structure. For this reason it is a very interesting film, but somewhat difficult to treat as entertainment - more instead a functional stage in the career of a cinematic visionary.

    Giulietta Masina is a good-hearted, but ultimately down-trodden, but still wholly optimistic street walker - Cabiria. Her doomed existence is plagued with flashes of joy and despair - most evident when the man of her dreams walks into her life (Fran?ois P¨¦rier as Oscar) and gives her a way out of her world, only to pull the rug out from under her. The 'nights of Cabiria' are a series of experiences - including an interlude with a movie-star, and brief encounter with a charitable stranger, an embarrassing hypnosis on stage in front of a group of hooligans, and a visit to pray and beg in front of the Madonna - a religious symbol of hope and compassion.

    Masina has excellent comic timing, giving a wonderfully endearing and memorable performance. She provides its structure, charm and overall sweetness. The acting is in general excellent. The score is beautiful and ambient. And the film's relaxed, comforting style matches the themes and characters perfectly. Sadly the film's final twist doesn't ring true, but its a minor flaw. The film's overall message is clear - life will always get you down, but you can only carry on, and make the best of it. Luscious....more info

  • Early Fellini
    Writer/director Federico Fellini's film follows the life of a prostitute (Giulietta Masina) whose tough exterior conceals a soul that is longing to surrender itself to someone that she can love and trust. Unfortunately, her occupation doesn't present her with many likely candidates, and the men she gives her heart to inevitably betray her. She bounces back sad, angry, bitter, but also resilient and determined to forge ahead. We know that she will give her heart away again and again, no matter how badly she is hurt, and we can only hope that the next man will treat her as she deserves.

    This film really needs an actress of Masina's ability to make it succeed. It meanders along, following Cabiria from situation to situation, and not all of it held my attention. I sometimes found myself growing bored, only to be confronted with a riveting scene such as the sequence at the hypnotist's show, where Cabiria is cruelly manipulated into revealing her vulnerability on stage before a rowdy crowd, setting her up for yet more tragedy. The film's final sequence is remarkable./
    ...more info
  • beautiful transfer of accessible early Fellini
    Although not one of the more important works in the Fellini canon, Night's of Cabiria is undoubtedly one of his most polished and most accessible works. Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina (in her finest performance) stars as the lively and optimistic prostitute Cabiria, searching for true love in one of the seediest parts of Rome. The plot, at first glance a rather dull, depressing subject, is livened by Fellini's inspired use of humour. The neo-realist style is enhanced by the dialogue, co-written by the controversial Italian film-maker Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salo, Accatone), and newly translated here. Considering the film's age (and a sequence of the film was lost) the picture quality is quite stunning. The sound shows its age far more, but is perfectly audible and acceptable. The extras are a welcome addition, the original and re-release trailers, a couple of informative interviews, and an extract from the White Sheik (although this is of rather poor quality, it still makes for an interesting addition).

    So despite the high price it's a very recommended buy, a great transfer of a great film....more info

  • Perfection!
    After see this masterpiece of the italian cinema, my personal list of favorites movies have change dramatically. I must to say too, the Criterion edition is a pleasure! Don't miss so important movie....more info
  • a compelling look at the human experience.
    Nights of Cabiria was the first Fellini movie that I ever saw and it won me over as a fan for life. What makes Cabiria such a compelling charecter is her outlook on life. Although in a shameful career she holds her head up high even among celebrities, and see's the good that life and people have to offer. These are qualities that are admirable in a life that can throw you (literally!) for a loop, more than once....more info
  • A must see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Nights of Cabiria is probably one of the most touching movies you'll ever see. Giulietta Masina is absolutly fantastic. Why her husband ( Federico Fellini / The director) didn't put her in more of his movies is a shame. She is truely a shining star who makes me warm all over whenever she appears on the screen. This movie and Felleni's 8 1/2 are true magic. Not many directors even enter this realm this kind of brillance!!!!...more info
  • Maestro!
    Bravissimo! Il piu maestro di film di tutto mundo!...more info
  • Nights Of Cabiria
    I've never in my life fallen so hard for a character in a film as I have for beautiful Cabiria. I saw the film for the first time yesterday and I am completely blown away. That lovely face ... if the last 45 seconds of Nights Of Cabiria don't affect you....then you should just stick with what they feed you at the multiplex. If you want something special in your life, that will probably stay with you forever, then see Nights Of Cabiria. ...more info
  • Unforgettable and beautiful!
    This is my favorite movie by Federico Fellini---my favorite movie ever!
    You must see it! You will fall in love with Cabiria, Fellini, Giulietta Masina, Italy, and your own fragile, beautiful , self---and strength of
    spirit. This is what art can do!...more info
  • Fellini at his best
    "Le Notti di Cabiria", Federico Fellini's 1957 Academy Award winning film, is a poignant, touching and timeless work of Italian cinema. The film details the life of Cabiria (played by Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina), a "night bird" who leads a cynical life of prostitution on the streets of Rome. Throughout the film, Fellini guides us through her search for true love, refuge, and eventual salvation. Her poetic story is one of sadness, hope, and the unending search for a true place to call home. Giulietta Masina's brilliant performance draws her audience into her ravaged world and leaves them forever changed.
    Cabiria has been a prostitute since her youngest days - she recollects entering the streets at 15 with "long, dark hair", unaware of what she was getting into. As we learn in the opening scene, she has been consistently taken advantage of by men, yet attempts to walk a fine line between clinging to them in a search for true happiness and remaining ever independent and self-sufficient. As soon as the film opens, she is robbed by her pimp, and later spends the night with a self-consumed wealthy director. However, the director throws her in the closet as soon as his girlfriend arrives and in the morning quickly escorts a sad Cabiria out of the house, with all her hopes crushed. During the film Cabiria is frequently enticed by the promise of a new life in her encounters, yet consistently meets impending doom.
    The most heartbreaking theme of the film is Cabiria's hopeless search for happiness and salvation. We see that her friends in the business are no better off - Cabiria's story is a universal account. She is cynical and cold only because of the tragedy she has suffered when she has chosen to share herself. However, she makes a gradual transformation throughout the film as soon as she meets D'onofrio - a handsome, intelligent and caring man who finds Cabiria at a comedy show. Cabiria is at first doubtful and aloof around him, but as the story progresses becomes more open and loving. She has finally found the answer in D'onofrio; she proceeds to sell her house and gather her life savings to live the married life as her mother had with D'onofrio. In the end of the film, her hopes are once again crushed as Fellini brings us to a cliff overlooking a river, the same setting as the opening scene in which Cabiria was robbed by her pimp and thrown into the river. Cabiria recognizes why D'onofrio has taken her there, breaks down crying and asks for him to throw her over the cliff. D'onofrio takes her life savings and leaves her on the cliff to her sorrows. Fellini ends the film with a shot of Cabiria looking into the camera smiling through her tears - she still has some hope for humanity inside her.
    It seems that no matter how desperate her struggles, Cabiria can not leave her life on the streets. She tells D'onofrio that as a teenager she and her friend Wanda had tried to escape the streets through starting a newspaper stand and could never get it off the ground. Perhaps it is something about Cabiria that keeps her working on the streets, perhaps it is her eternal hope in the goodness of mankind. She will never stop believing someone good is waiting for her out in the obscurity of the night. While at a holy site where Mary was to have appeared, she begs in tears for Mary to change her life. Her prayers, expectedly, are not answered. In "Le Notti di Cabiria", Fellini breaks our hearts through Giulietta Masina's brilliant portrayal of an infinite search for love amongst a dark world ravaged with deceit and pain....more info
  • Marriages between geniuses are simply rare.
    I have entered into the world of Federico Fellini and I don't think I'm turning back. The story and the performance in here are wonderful in particular Guiletta Masina, who stars as Cabiria. She plays a tough talking, streetwise hooker with one weakness: she falls in love all too easy. The story opens with her latest boyfriend, a shifty character named Giorgio (after a month of living together she's never learned his last name), steals her purse for pocket change and dumps her in the river. Even confronted with the obvious, she wishfully worries about Giorgio's welfare until the reality of his crime finally sinks in, and she responds with a sudden, mad fit of destructive anger.

    Out first impression of Cabiria presents not so much a complex character as a passionate one: Masina's moon face and bright eyes flash emotions with the quicksilver spontaneity of a child. She's a streetwalker-as-Mary Pickford, a waif whose years on the street has turned wary and cynical, but just short of jaded. She still has the capacity to show her delight in life, the trust to give her heart away, and the clear thinking to buy her own house and stock money away in the bank.

    As if haunted by the experience, she stumbles along looking for some meaning in her life, which she most pointedly does not find in a disappointing pilgrimage to a Catholic shrine -- "Nothing's changed!" she cries after seeing salvation turned into a circus. But after a devastatingly poignant admission while under hypnosis at a magic show, where she opens her soul when she meets her dream lover and becomes the object of ridicule by a taunting audience, she finally meets a man who seems to appreciate her open heart and trusting soul. Oscar (Francois Perier) doesn't know who she is or what she does, but he sees what we see in her glowing face: hope shining through her pain, a woman ready to offer her unconditional love.

    Cabiria, as clownish as she appears at times, is no passive gamine but a hearty, rambunctious woman full of the joy of life. At a high class nightclub with movie star Lazzari she jumps into a goofy dance of joy, completely out of synch with her surroundings but an honest expression of her character. No posing, no masks for Cabiria, she is what she is and makes no apologies and that's what holds the episodic film together. The plot essentially exists as bookends to the film; "Nights of Cabiria" dares lose itself in the wanderings of its hapless, hopeful heroine. Perhaps no actress other than Massina could have pulled this off, a soaring triumph of the human spirit. "Nights of Cabiria" is a great film that I highly recommend to those who appreciate Italian cinema.
    ...more info
    This masterpiece grabs you from the get-go and doesn't let up! Watch carefully, for the first two minutes of the opening scene represent the unfortunate recurring pattern of Cabiria's life: sheer happiness followed by tearful sorrow. Fellini's masterful approach to the story of Cabiria, a plain-Jane older prostitute in 1950's Rome, is not only artful but insightful. Surprisingly, you love this character from the moment you meet her and you can't help but wish her the best. You personally share in her disappointments, some greater than others, and Cabiria displays a remarkable level of resilience in the face of it all. Just when you start thinking that things may be going well for her, BOOM!, Fellini drops the bomb that blows everything to bits. The ending is one of such heartbreaking sadness that, I guarantee, will stay with you forever. Even weeks after first seeing this film, dear Cabiria is still on my mind and I wonder every so often what happened to her after the movie ended.

    From a technical aspect, the Criterion release is outstanding. The visual restoration of this film is unbelievable. There is a feature that shows how the film was restored, and it's fascinating to see how the print went from dark and almost impossible to see to clear and bright. The subtitles have been newly translated to a more modern English. There is an optional English-dubbed soundtrack which is helpful for some scenes where there is lots of quick-fire dialog in which the subtitles have been pared down for clarity. There is also a video interview with Fellini's assistant Dominique Delouche, as well as an audio interview with Dino de Laurentiis. This newly-mastered print has a formerly missing segment titled "man with a sack" which, depending on which interviewee you believe, was deleted due to pressure from the Roman Catholic Church (Delouche) or for the sake of timing and continuity (de Laurentiis). My only problem with the restoration is that the sound, remastered from the original 1957 negative, is sometimes harsh and tinny. But, that's minor and easily forgiveable when compared to the beautiful visual restoration.

    A classic that's well worth owning and that shows Fellini at his best....more info

  • A Well-Deserved Restoration
    You'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll want to go to Rome and track down those locations. This regretfully overlooked masterpiece finally gets a well-deserved restoration and stellar presentation on DVD, and let's hope it gets more fans in the process. Giulietta Masina delivers one of the all-time great screen performances. And with the long-lost "man with a sack" sequence restored, the movie seems even richer than before. It's in that sequence that Cabiria sees her future, and the effect is devastating--for her, and for us at the film's conclusion. And that conclusion is brilliant--with the slightest teary smile and a nano-second look into our eyes, Masina tells us volumes about her tragic character and her spirit for survival--and maybe a little about ourselves, as well. This is one of those films that has become an annual ritual for me....more info
  • Great
    Before Federico Fellini became the audacious and surrealistic film auteur of the 1960s he was a lauded and accomplished Italian Neorealistic film director of the 1950s, more in league with Vittorio De Sica and Lucchino Visconti, and no film better represents this era of Fellini's art than his sterling 1957 film Nights Of Cabiria (Le Notti Di Cabiria), written by Fellini, Tulio Pinelli, and Ennio Flaiano (with Pier Paolo Pasolini scripting the Roman street slang), and starring his wife Giulieta Masina. It won the 1957 film Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and deservedly so. The film deals with the trials and tribulations of the impoverished and downtrodden in a humorous but realistic way that Hollywood still does not dare to do. Yet, even in this film, one can see the filmmaker that Fellini was to become in a few years, for, despite its seeming realism, there are many neat touches of Absurdism, Symbolism, and Surrealism.... In many ways, the film is a picaresque of one of the oldest clich¨¦s: the hooker with the heart of gold, but such a generalization utterly disservices the `how' of how art affects one, and how it does its task. Masina's brilliant performance, which won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival, is often compared to Chaplin's tramp character, even though it is more like Lucille Ball's tv character of Lucy Ricardo, from I Love Lucy, albeit with depth, delicacy, and heart; such a depth of a character that a lesser actress would have let descend into burlesque. Yet, Cabiria's expressiveness is more subtle and true than either Chaplin's or Ball's characters, for they exist only in comedies, and Nights Of Cabiria is not a comedy, despite some funny moments. Cabiria exists in a far more complex and realistic world than the Tramp or Lucy Ricardo. Her face contorts into twists of pain Lucy Ricardo never dreamt of, and which the Tramp simply shrugged off, or responded to with wild slapstick. Cabiria is wary, mistrusts, and does not seem to learn, frustrating both her and the audience she has gotten to root for her. I knew many such women in my New York neighborhood while growing up. And they can be tough, street smart, yet still gullible enough to fall for an Oscar. That said, critics have disagreed, over the years, over whether or not Oscar was conning Cabiria from the start. I think it's clear he was, for from her answers to the mesmerist he felt she was an independent woman of means, assuming a poor woman would never even go to such a show. One can even see from their scene of meeting at the train station that Oscar is putting on an act, changing his facial expressions the moment he sees her, dropping a toothpick from his mouth, after looking like the consummate con man, and then assuming a weak demeanor to lure Cabiria into his trap. That the woman who makes her living in sex is still so na?ve to the ways of emotional sexual involvement says a lot of Fellini's prescience in parsing out realities of character development. Then, when he found out she was a prostitute, he felt a bit guilty, as if preying on someone from his own class, and thus wanted to not know of her `job'. A part of him, it seems, wants to not con her, at the cliff, and this was why his demeanor is so different. Yet, ultimately, he's a con, she's a whore, and reality dictates they act their parts. But, unlike Giorgio, he is no would be killer. The only question is what his initial con was to be- to marry a woman of means, and then, failing that, to just take Cabiria's money the moment he saw it, knowing his original plan was dead, for he could not sponge off of her. Such small ambiguities, even if not pertinent to Cabiria's ultimate unhappiness, nor the film's ending, makes Fellini an artist of the first rank, for only such artists pay attention to such things. These things, not the great things, are often the difference between greats and minor artists.
    These sorts of subtleties in common folk are never even broached, much less dealt with, in modern Hollywood films. Such is the richness of this marvelous study in class and self-deception, where humans live in small concrete boxes they call homes, as if lab rats. That the film does not follow a conventional narrative format is a good thing, for it heightens the realistic sense of the film. It also subtly repudiates religion, although not so much in the overtly religious scenes, where Cabiria's spiritual entreaties go unheard, nor where she mocks the religiots as fools, but in those scenes where Cabiria reveals her most human side, the non-fantastic, which is ironic, since she works in a profession that deals with fantasy. The film also deals with survival, at its basest level, for Cabiria barely grows intellectually through the film. Yes, by film's end, one could argue that her latest user and abuser, Oscar, is a step up from Giorgio, whom she began the film with, but has Cabiria really ameliorated?
    To close, Nights Of Cabiria owes much to City Lights for its focus on the poor, as well as to De Sica's The Bicycle Thief, for its realistic view of life at a certain time and place, especially its end, which simply ends, with no indication of whether or not Cabiria will be better off or not, and this helps viewers more strongly identify with her, because we all are unknowing and uncertain of our futures, and even though Cabiria's uncertainty is half a century removed, the tingle we get in our bellies, at the film's end is a recognition of our fears in her gaze toward us, and despite it's unsettling effect, such butterflies still flap their wings for the future.
    ...more info
  • My most favorite movie in 45 years of watching films
    I first saw this film many years ago, but the funny thing is that I love it only more as the decades go by.

    This is especially a good film for people to watch who have a lot of pain in their lives, because Cabiria shows us how she got that too, and how she always gets up, dusts herself off and gets back in the game -- nay, joins the parade.

    There are many things I love about this film. It tells us so much of the world and Cabiria shows us a glimpse of the Divine coming through the personae. (How fitting that even her name, Cabiria, is a form of a word representing ancient divine deities.)

    Falling in love with Cabiria helped me also to fall in love with me.

    I would also like to mention how grateful I am that this film is still in black and white. It is true art.

    I have called other films my favorite, but in the end -- as of 2008 -- this is THE favorite. (Other contenders are very different though very good, such as TRUE ROMANCE which was written but not directed by Quentin Tarantino.)...more info
  • Very long, but worth it
    I finished it 30 minutes ago and still can't stop crying. This movie was so incredibly good, and the ending was perfect. All of a sudden, you feel it coming like a storm.

    It was paced in such a way where you start to know something bad is going to happen and as it unfolds, your guts tie up in a knot. One of those films that stays with you forever. Sad, but somehow comforting at the same time.
    ...more info
    I find this great classic so touching that I can only watch it in about fifteen minute segments.

    It will never be outclassed or grow out of favor.

    I also found Shirley Maclain a pretty god competitor in Sweet Charity...more info

  • The Divine Miss M
    Giulietta Masina delivers one of the great acting performances in movie history. I love this movie so much I bought the poster and hung it above my computer. If you're on this page, odds are you've already seen the movie, so it might be helpful to note that the DVD version is quite good. Fellini's ability to convey emotion through camera movement is remarkable, and the beauty of his compositions is more apparent in this restored version. The bonus lost footage is fun to look at, and, of course, the sound quality is far better than on video.

    Masina's face is a miracle-- she has more passion in her chin than most actors have in their whole bodies. A splendid movie, and an excellent DVD....more info

  • Bittersweet Fellini Masterpiece!
    In the center of this touching film is Giuletta Masina's wonderful performance as Cabiria, a kind-hearted prostitute who can't help but look up at things but every time she ends up with sorrow. The film is lacking the otherworldliness and surreal touches of other Fellini films, but has an aching realism that is sadly missing in Fellini's later films. Masina bases her character on Chaplin's 'Tramp', you can see that in the way she walks and with her body language, also the ending is derivative of Chaplin's 'Modern Times'. An unforgettable film which is tender, touching and heartbreaking. Memorable music from Nino Rota. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film a 9!...more info
  • Surprisingly, a powerful emotional experience...
    Fellini's most powerful films actually PRECEDE the (in my opinion) over-praised '8 1/2' for the simple reason that the heart is more powerful than the head (for me at least). There are few movies with this kind of enduring emotional appeal - and I must stress this is not cheap, sentimental emotion. Movies are products of their time and often age quickly; 'Cabiria' is an extraordinary film experience, but perhaps one must see it twice to fully enter a world created by Fellini a half-century ago. In any event, most people who enjoy movies are unfamiliar with 'Cabiria', which is stunning to realize after fully experiencing it.

    I am almost ashamed to admit that I did not appreciate this movie the first time I saw it (only the second time, and then even more the third time, the fourth, etc....)

    Fellini in the 1950's with 'La Strada' and 'Cabiria' created at least two films that will always affect viewers emotionally for one simple reason: Fellini's ability to explore and ultimately celebrate our humanity within the hell life can often be for many of us. The power of 'La Strada' is the complex humanity of the two main characters (though Quinn's character only understands how horrible it is emotionally to be fully human in the final minute of the movie; Giulietta Masini's character denies none of her humanity at any point in 'La Strada' and is brutally punished for her inability to edit-out life horrors).

    Because 'Cabiria' is now 50 years old it is best watched twice (minimum!) Only then can one overcome any resistance to how different it is from movies made today. Only then can one fully appreciate how perfectly melancholy, yearning and integrated the music is by Nino Rota. More important, what at first may appear to some viewers as mugging and overacting by Masini is revealed as a fully-realized character: the inimitable Cabiria.

    No movie in my experience has a more powerful, hopeful, bittersweet ending than 'Cabiria'; few equal it...

    With all great cinematic or theatrical experiences there is always the mystery of how such emotional power is achieved. Fellini crafted the movie with a talented team of actors and technicians so there should be no mystery. But the experience of this movie is so powerful that it cannot be put into words.

    '8 1/2' is a bon-bon for the intellect. 'Cabiria' is an emotional experience on the highest level. I know of few movies that equal 'Cabiria' other than 'La Strada'. These are the best of Fellini's movies, along with the transitional film 'La Dolce Vita'.

    So, watch this one (perhaps twice!) and enjoy one of THE great movies......more info
  • Cabiria --- one of the best cinematic characters EVER!
    Talk about going from bad to worse...just when it seems that life couldn't get any more unfair for Cabiria, Fellini decides to dump a little more misery upon her. Anyone who is indulging in a little self-pity over a lousy job or bratty kids should watch this film to get a sense of perspective.

    But what makes this character great is that she is either too dumb or too resilient to realize that she has been beaten down by life, and continues to get up off the mat. Despite a relatively small filmography, Giuletta Masina has to be considered one of the premier actresses of her time, and she keeps the character of Cabiria from becoming a cartoonish "hooker with a heart of gold." How can a movie be this depressing but simultaneously uplifting? Simply amazing....more info
  • fellini's unheralded masterpiece
    i hesitate to call giuletta masina's performance one of the best comedic displays i've ever seen: no, not because it isn't good enough, but because i fear it's too limiting. she's certainly very funny, but the role of cabiria, the "night walker" who's looking for true love, demands a performance that is both hilarious and poignant, one that makes you laugh until you cry and then makes you cry until you can't anymore.

    masina reminds me of an italian lucille ball, except good ol' lucy never lit up the big screen quite the same way. like her character in la strada, masina seems to be always attracted to loutish figures, beginning with giorgio, a beau who steals her purse and then pushes her into a lake. he's followed by alberto lazzati, a fading star, who picks her up for the night and seems genuine in his interest until his girlfriend pays him a visit and cabiria spends the night locked in the bathroom.

    cabiria strikes you as someone who never really wanted to get into the "business," but ended up falling into it anyway. she desperately seems to want out of it, to find a good man to lead her out of it, to give herself over to religion, but both of these avenues fail. one fateful night at a hypnotist's show changes all of that, though. a fling with a man she meets after the show seems like it could be real love...but is it? the ending is incredibly emotional and the final two minutes of the film serve as a haunting conclusion to masina's masterful performance.

    the film is very much what we'd expect from fellini, even though it is from his early period. many of his trademarks on are on parade here: the spectacle, the religious imagery, and the whole ethos of life as one big carnival. his direction is fluid and artful: the images he captures are quite amazing and the restoration process lets you see all of them in their full glory; rome remains, as ever, an incredible place to film. what does set this apart from his later works is the naivity of it: whereas his later films give off a cosmopolitan air, there is something just downright provincial about nights of cabiria.

    cabiria, i believe, is an underrated film: it certainly deserves to be right up there in fellini's canon and it's definitely a better film than the overlong la dolce vita. cabiria is about faith and hope in the face of all odds, it's a tribute to the human spirit. above all, though, i believe it's a tribute to the director's wife, masina. he captures her with the eye of a loving husband and, thankfully, he also captured her for the whole world to see....more info

  • Not exactly disappointing, but...
    Nights of Cabiria doesn't live up to its formidable reputation but at the same time it doesn't exactly disappoint. Massina is not a good actress by any stretch of the imagination, too overreliant on volume and exaggeration for much of the film, but she is ultimately an affecting one when she stops yeling and just lets her face tell the story. It's Fellini at his most Chaplinesque, with Masina's whore a right little tramp, and its when it harks back to silent cinema that it's at its best. Her boyfriend's sudden change of character at the end seems to come completely out of leftfield and doesn't altogether convince, but it does allow for a truly beautiful final sequence. And it's interesting that of all the things for the Catholic Church to object to about the film, the one that incensed them enough for the sequence to be removed was a man with a sack dispensing blankets and chocolates to derelicts, a touching scene that acts both as a harbinger of Cabiria's probable fate and an affirmation that there is still some good in the world.

    Criterion's DVD is a good presentation, boasting the uncut version with the long-deleted 'man with the sack' sequence, interviews with Dominique Delouche and Dino De Laurentiis, an extract from Fellini's The White Sheik where Massina's character made her first brief appearance and the original Italian trailer plus the US reissue trailer. ...more info
  • Another classic that has left me COLD-but I warm easily
    "La Notti Di Cabriria" is a fine showcase for the goofball charm of Giulietta Masina. I have no doubt that it has reduced many a mighty soul to tears and trembling. The story is tight and conveyed with authority and conviction. I am certain that this is a "good" movie that most people enjoy thoroughly. I'm going to back and watch it again, but as it stands, it just didn't move me like I expected it to. I can't very well give it a higher rating until it impacts me emotionally.

    Still, I recognize that the film has an exceedingly dirty feel to it. Everything from Cabriria's occupation to the filthy beggars crying out for Grace from Maria --reek with a pestilence that cannot be washed off. The film is ugly--and Cabriria is presented like a little beacon of light to guide the viewer through the stinking pit of civilization. Masina does a fine job conveying the sufferings and triumphs of her character. I'm just not a big fan of these types of stories--I watched it because it is a Fellini film and I am trying to work my way through all his work. I will watch this again after I've made more of a dent in his output. I'll probably see it in an entirely different way and perhaps may even like it more.

    Ultimately, if you love rooting for the little gal, this film is for you. She is very much like Chaplin's "little tramp" and you will enjoy observing her gritty determination to climb every mountain with a song in her heart. Watch it when you are not cynical, open to sweetness, and not afraid of the tyranny of the sun....more info

  • What Pretty Woman Should Have Been
    I hated Pretty Woman (15th Anniversary Special Edition)-a whore on Hollywood Boulevard meets Prince Charming! Ughh. So when I read the description of Nights of Cabiria, I wasn't keen. But I like Fellini, so decided to give Nights of Cabiria a chance.

    This is a wonderful film. Fellini's wife, Giulietta Masina stars as Cabiria, an older woman who "lives the life" in Rome. She lives in Rome's poorest neighborhood, Ostia, but is fiercely proud of being very close to paying off her mortgage. One day she goes with friends to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary and asks for her life to change. Shortly thereafter she meets Oscar and believes the Virgin has blessed her with true love. Like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, Oscar has his own ideas about how to set Cabiria up for life!

    Giulietta Masina is remarkable in this film. She delivers one of the best female performances I've seen in my life. This script is excellent. And Fellini's direction brilliant.

    The Criterion restoration of this film is very good-among the best I've seen Criterion produce. The extras, including original previews and shorts from another film with Giulietta playing a much younger prostitute are excellent. Puts "modern classics" like Pretty Woman to shame.

    See also Criterions release of other Fellini classics like 8 1/2 - Criterion Collection, La Dolce Vita (2-Disc Collector's Edition), and other lesser known Fellini films like Il Bidone and La Strada - Criterion Collection....more info
  • Makes Sweet Charity look so trite
    Giulietta Masina has often been compared to Charlie Chaplin, but I tend to favor the argument that she is like an Italian neo-realist Lucille Ball. All you have to do is watch the scene when the tiny Cabiria is dancing the nightclub, kicking her legs up and smiling away to feel the energy and comic timing that the late Ball put into her various Lucy characters.

    Nights of Cabiria is truly one of Fellini's best films. It's touching and humorous and beautifully acted. If some of the scenes look familiar, it's because they were done almost shot-for-shot in the American musical remake, "Sweet Charity." However, "Nights of Cabiria" is a much better film than Charity ever was. As much as I like Shirley MacLaine, she really doesn't caputure the essence of the small, plucky prostitute like Masina does. MacLaine plays Charity like a slightly retarded shrinking violet, whereas Masina is small but tough. Just look at the scene when she walks between the two much taller prostitutes and has a look on her face just daring them to say anything. Masina is brilliant in her role. If Cheri Oteri proved herself as a dramatic actress, she'd probably be the best choice to play Cabiria nowadays in a remake.

    One of the most moving sequences in the film is the one that caused so much controversy and was cut out of the film for almost 40 years: the man with the sack sequence. In it, Cabiria faces what may become of her in the future and it's a sober reality. This is one of the best moments onscreen, but is outmatched by the famous ending shot when Cabiria stares at the audience, smiling through her tears.

    Definitely worth the rental....more info