(aka 'Cabiria" or "Nights of Cabiria" or "Les Nuits de Cabiria')

directed by Federico Fellini
Italy 1957


 Cabiria (Giulietta Masina) is a prostitute - protecting herself whilst eking out an existence in the gutters of Rome. She is also a painted caricature (not unlike Chaplin's little tramp - sporting an umbrella instead of bamboo cane). She exhibits wild emotions and waif like tantrums. She is seeking something...  perhaps an inner meaning to her existence. She cries in church but is confused why. She happens into a performance of a hypnotist, and is reluctantly persuaded onstage. In the film's most unusual scene she is put “under” resulting in an embodiment of her true self . Through this miraculous transition are we able to gaze through the hard shell and determine that underneath she is but a child survivor. Her trance helps reveal her trusting nature, innocence and sweetness. Her naiveté deludes her into believing a man will complete her deeply personal inquiry that she is oblivious to comprehending. Regardless of how often life has let her down, she bounces back - she is loveable and our empathy actually becomes the films enduring message - as compassionate as any cinema I have ever seen. Days after your first viewing of Nights of Cabiria - you will repeatedly think of her. Your concern for her will feel quite real.


  This DVD/Film's appearance in both the 100 TOP DVDs listing , my YMdb page and Essential Cinema webpage is really an understated representation of my love of this film. For me, it literally transcends cinema itself, as each time I view it I feel there is nothing more I need to see... ever. It is films like this that have helped make Criterion's reputation what it is. Fellini's absolute best, Masina's finest performance - a true work of cinematic art. One of the highest pinnacles film has ever reached. out of

Gary W. Tooze


Theatrical Release: May 10th, 1957 - Cannes Film Festival - France

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews


Recommended Books on Italian Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)


Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present
by Peter E. Bondanella
Fellini on Fellini
by Federico Fellini, Isabel Quigley
Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism
by Millicent Marcus
Vittorio De Sica: Contemporary Perspectives (Toronto Italian Studies)
by Howard Curle, Stephen Snyder
Italian Film (National Film Traditions)
by Marcia Landy, David Desser
Italian Cinema
by Maggie Gunsberg
I, Fellini
by Charlotte Chandler, Billy Wilder
Vittorio De Sica: Director, Actor, Screenwriter
by Bert Cardullo


Check out more in "The Library"


DVD Review: Criterion  - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover


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Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 49 - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:57:48 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.28 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), DUB: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Exclusive video interview with former Fellini assistant Dominique Delouche
• Audio interview with producer Dino De Laurentiis (3:40)
• The original and re-release theatrical trailers
• Excerpt from Fellini’s The White Sheik, in which Masina makes her first appearance as Cabiria
• Restoration demonstration (6:19)

• Liner Notes - excerpt from I, Fellini

DVD Release Date: September 7th, 1999

Keep Case
Chapters: 24




There are quite a number of Criterion DVDs that I would consider to be "must-owns" but this actually reaches yet another category - if I owned a safe - this would be one of the possessions that I would keep locked up at night. As stated on the box- "This new digital transfer was created from the restored 35mm dupe negative. The sound was created from the restored digital soundtrack. These new master elements were created through extensive replacement of damaged frames in the original negative and resynchronization of the restored sound." Looking at the Restoration Demonstration offered as an extra you can see the huge difference this cleaned print has made. Solid extras with the Dominique Delouche interview as the highlight. This DVD is a keystone of what this website is all about. Not owning this almost boils down to simple foolishness. out of

Gary W. Tooze


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CLICK to order from:

Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 49 - Region 0 - NTSC


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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,