(aka 'Lights of Variety" or "Variety Lights')

Italy 19


  A beautiful ingenue joins a tawdry music hall troupe and quickly becomes its feature attraction in Fellini’s stunning debut film (directed in collaboration with neorealist filmmaker Alberto Lattuada). Featuring Giulietta Masina, Fellini’s wife and frequent leading lady, Variety Lights introduces the director’s affection for the carnivalesque characters that frequent the cinematic landscape of such classics as Nights of Cabiria, La Strada, and La Dolce Vita.


Theatrical Release: December 6th, 1950 - Italy

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DVD Review: Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 81 - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:37:15 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.69 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Liner notes essay by Andrew Sarris

DVD Release Date:
August 22nd, 2000
Keep Case
Chapters: 22




Having reviewed well over 100 Criterion DVDs, I had always thought every single one was HD-sourced (we also call this "film-sourced" as opposed to "video-sourced"). Variety Lights, on the other hand, was claimed to be taken directly from the original 35mm fine-grain master (see last large capture for extensive 'combing'). There is a slim chance that it was taken from their old laserdisc. It looks very rough. There is a fine scratch down the center of the screen for many segments of film. It tends to leave and annoyingly return.  I also notice shimmering and edge enhancement. Criterion's usual care was not taken for this 2000 release. By their usual high standards, this is quite sloppy. No extras, great subtitles. Nothing along the lines of their other Fellini releases. This is my lowest score ever for a Criterion DVD - out of

Gary W. Tooze


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Subtitle Sample




Screen Captures














Combing in forced weave mode - this disc is not from a high-definition sourced tape.


Recommended Books on Federico Fellini (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)


Federico Fellini
by Christopher Wiegand
Fellini on Fellini
by Federico Fellini, Isabel Quigley
The Cinema of Federico Fellini
by Peter Bondanella
The Films of Federico Fellini (Cambridge Film Classics)
by Peter Bondanella, Ray Carney
I'm a Born Liar: A Fellini Lexicon
by Damian Pettigrew
by Lietta Tornabuoni
Fellini: A Life
by Hollis Alpert
I, Fellini
by Charlotte Chandler, Billy Wilder


DVD Box Cover


CLICK to order from:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 81 - Region 0 - NTSC


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