Firstly, a HUGE thanks to our Patreon supporters. Your generosity touches me deeply. These supporters have become the single biggest contributing factor to the survival of DVDBeaver. Your assistance has become essential. We are always trying to expand Patron benefits... you get access to the Silent Auctions and over 10,000 unpublished screen captures (in lossless PNG format, if that has appeal for you) listed HERE. Please consider helping with $3 or more each month so we can continue to do our best in giving you timely, thorough reviews, calendar updates and detailed comparisons. Thank you so much. We aren't going to exist without another 100 or so patrons.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/fellini.htm
Italy 195
4

Regarded by some as Federico Fellini’s finest work, and the winner of the first Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, La Strada is a masterpiece of 20th Century filmmaking. Sold by her impoverished mother to Zampano (Anthony Quinn), a brutish fairground wrestler, waif-like Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) lives a life of drudgery as his assistant. After taking to the road with a travelling circus, a budding relationship with Il Matto/The Fool (Richard Basehart), a gentle-natured, tightrope walking clown, offers a potential refuge from her master’s clutches. Trapped by her own servile nature, Gelsomina waivers, and Zampano’s volcanic temper erupts with tragic consequences.

***

There has never been a face quite like that of Giulietta Masina. Her husband, the legendary Federico Fellini, directs her as Gelsomina in La Strada, the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn,) a brutal strongman in a traveling circus. When Zampanò encounters an old rival in highwire artist the Fool (Richard Basehart), his fury is provoked to its breaking point. With La Strada, Fellini left behind the familiar signposts of Italian neorealism for a poetic fable of love and cruelty, evoking brilliant performances and winning the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide.

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: September 6th, 1954 - Venice Film Festival

Reviews                                                                   More Reviews                                                             DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Criterion -  Region 0 - NTSC vs. Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Covers

   

 

  

Presently only available in Criterion's Essential Fellini Blu-ray package with 14 films (15-Blu-rays)

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 219  Region 0 - NTSC Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

This edition (without any extras) is also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Runtime 1:48:24 1:47:47.416 1:49:00.075
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 47,734,344,588 bytes

Feature Size: 26,871,005,184 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 48,630,889,627 bytes

Feature Size: 33,199,245,312 bytes

Average Bitrate: 36.01 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate:

Bitrate Studio Canal: Blu-ray

Bitrate Criterion: Blu-ray

Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) , DUB: English LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English DUB:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

  • Video introduction by Martin Scorsese

  • Audio commentary by Peter Bondanella, author of The Cinema of Federico Fellini

  • Federico Fellini’s Autobiography, a 2000 documentary originally broadcast on Italian television

  • Optional English-dubbed soundtrack featuring the voices of Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart

  • New essay by film scholar Peter Matthews

  • New and improved English subtitle translation

  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

  • Two Discs

DVD Release Date: November 18th, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 26

Release Information:
Studio: S
tudio Canal

 

Disc Size: 47,734,344,588 bytes

Feature Size: 26,871,005,184 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio commentary by Chris Weigand on selected scenes (18:05)
• New Interview with director Julian Jarrold (11:37)
• New Interview with Peter Matthews, Senior
• Lecturer, Film & Television, London College of Communication (23:53)
• The Guardian Interview: Anthony Quinn (recorded at the BFI in 1995) (28:43)
• Giulietta Masina 1955 Cannes interview (10:33)

Blu-ray Release Date:
June 19th, 2017
Standard (UK) Thick
Blu-ray Case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

Disc Size: 48,630,889,627 bytes

Feature Size: 33,199,245,312 bytes

Average Bitrate: 36.01 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio commentary by Peter Bondanella, author of The Cinema of Federico FelliniVideo

• introduction by Martin Scorsese (13:45)

• Federico Fellini’s Autobiography, a 2000 documentary originally broadcast on Italian television (55:16)
• Trailer (2:05)
• Optional English-dubbed soundtrack featuring the voices of Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart

 

PLUS: Deluxe packaging, including two lavishly illustrated books with hundreds of pages of content: notes on the films by scholar David Forgacs, essays by filmmakers Michael Almereyda, Kogonada, and Carol Morley; film critics Bilge Ebiri and Stephanie Zacharek; and novelist Colm Tóibín, and dozens of images spotlighting Don Young’s renowned collection of Fellini memorabilia
Collector’s set designed by Raphael Geroni, with new illustrations by Abigail Giuseppe


 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 24th, 2020
Custom Blu-ray Case (see below)

Chapters 26

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray (October 2020): Criterion have transferred Federico Fellini's La Strada to Blu-ray as part of their 14 films (15-Blu-rays) package of Essential Fellini that includes Toby Dammit 1968, Variety Lights 1950, The White Sheik 1952, I vitelloni 1953, La strada 1954, Il bidone 1955, Nights of Cabiria 1957, La dolce vita 1960, 1963, Juliet of the Spirits 1965, Fellini Satyricon 1969, Roma 1972, Amarcord 1973, And the Ship Sails On 1983 and Intervista 1987. This is the 4th Blu-ray in the Essential Fellini package.

The package has "New 4K restorations" but the biggest issue with La Strada in the past was the digitization (high-frequency edge enhancement) of the DVDs going back to Criterion's 2003 SD transfer. As compared to the 2017 Studio Canal Blu-ray, the Criterion states at the beginning of the presentation (perhaps indicating why the running time is slightly longer) : "Restored in 4K resolution by the Criterion Collection and The Film Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna's L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory from a 35mm dupe negative preserved by Beta Film GmbH. Restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association."

The Criterion has a higher bitrate (max'ed out) than the Studio Canal 1080P, the image has richer black levels and better grain support. There are differences in the framing and aspect ratio, but, to my eyes, the Criterion appears more accurate. Hopefully the matched captures below will give you an idea of the disparity.    

NOTE: We have added 53 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Criterion use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original Italian language with an optional lossy English DUB (just like their DVD advertised as 'featuring the voices of Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart'.) The post DUB'ing is, at times, imperfect but that is a function of the production and many Italian films. The score is by Nino Rota (Nights of Cabiria, Juliet of the Spirits, Rocco and His Brothers, Death on the Nile, Il Bidone, 8 1/2, I Clowns, Purple Noon, The Leopard etc.) adding another vital layer to the story. Criterion offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Criterion Blu-ray has included the previous commentary by Peter Bondanella, author of The Cinema of Federico Fellini, (recorded for the Criterion Collection in 2003, this commentary features Peter Bondanella, who was Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian at Indiana University. He was also the author of Italian Cinema: From Neorea/ism to the Present and the coeditor of La strada, the English-language critical edition of the film's continuity script.), the Scorsese introduction and  55-minute long 2000 documentary originally broadcast on Italian television described as "For this 2000 documentary, Paquito Del Bosco was given total access to the RAI (Italian national public broadcaster) archives' holdings of television interviews with director Federico Fellini. " There is also a trailer.

NOTE: The deluxe packaging, includes two lavishly illustrated books with hundreds of pages of content: notes on the films by scholar David Forgacs, essays by filmmakers Michael Almereyda, Kogonada, and Carol Morley; film critics Bilge Ebiri and Stephanie Zacharek; and novelist Colm Tóibín, and dozens of images spotlighting Don Young’s renowned collection of Fellini memorabilia collector’s set designed by Raphael Geroni, with new illustrations by Abigail Giuseppe.

Federico Fellini's La Strada is, a masterpiece - looking marvelous in the new 4K-restoration. I will just state, as I did with Nights of Cabiria, that this is an integral part of Criterion's upcoming Essential Fellini Blu-ray package... which is an obvious front-runner for best of the entire 2020 year. This title is, indeed, essential as well, and like Cabiria will find its way to our Top 100 Desert Island Discs listing.

***

ADDITION: Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray July 17'': The new Studio Canal transfer is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. It doesn't have the grain I was anticipating but it has some good qualities beyond the much older DVDs. The Criterion has digitization in the form of edge-enhancement - bringing up the detail but this becomes evident upon close inspection or comparing to the HD. The Optimum has an unpleasant waxiness and softness. The 1080P is much brighter, has more detail and more information in the frame - specifically when compared to the Criterion where there is notably more on the bottom, right and left edges. The Studio Canal looks very pleasing in-motion and is very clean. I like the look of this and will compare to other 1080P transfers if they surface, but I was absolutely thrilled to see this on Blu-ray, although more texture would improve the viewing, imo. 

Studio Canal use a linear PCM mono track (16-bit) in the original Italian. The post DUB'ing is at the weaker end of the spectrum but we accept this from many Italian films. It, frequently, is out-of-sync. The impacting score is by Nino Rota (Il Bidone, 8 1/2, I Clowns, Purple Noon, The Leopard etc.) and sounds bold and powerful in the uncompressed with some, inherent, weakness in the higher-end. There are optional English subtitles on the Region 'B' Blu-ray disc.

Studio Canal add some impressive extras starting with an 18-minute select-scene commentary by Chris Weigand (to, what appears to be, a lesser print quality than the 1080P.) There are three different scenes (first street performance and a sequence where Gelsomina and 'the Fool' bond and Zampanò chases him away, the final scene used has a drunk Zampanò beaten in the street, wandering on the beach) and Weigand provides a good background on the production, Masina, Fellini and Quinn - referencing other films. It's a kind to a visual essay and I only wish it was longer - dare I say, a full commentary - as by Peter Bondanella on the Criterion. We get 2 new interviews - one with director Julian Jarrold running shy of 12-minutes describing the personal impact the film had on him and why. There is a rewarding 24-minute interview with Peter Matthews, Senior Lecturer, Film & Television, London College of Communication. He provides details on Fellini, his start after a meeting with Rossellini, neo-realism, and much more. We get The Guardian Interview with Anthony Quinn recorded at the BFI in 1995 running short of 1/2 hour. Also included in delightful, 10-minute, Giulietta Masina 1955 Cannes interview.

La Strada is one of Fellini's most beloved films. Unforgettable. Gut-wrenching. The package is the best I have ever seen the film presented - making it even more impacting. Devastatingly so. This is on our Top 100 Desert Island Discs listing. A must own Blu-ray, for the film if nothing more.

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

 

Signal One - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Samples

1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

High Frequency edge enhancement on the Criterion DVD


 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  MIDDLE

3)Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  MIDDLE

3)Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE


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
Fellini
by Lietta Tornabuoni
Fellini: A Life
by Hollis Alpert
I, Fellini
by Charlotte Chandler, Billy Wilder

Box Covers

   

 

  

Presently only available in Criterion's Essential Fellini Blu-ray package with 14 films (15-Blu-rays)

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 219  Region 0 - NTSC Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray





 

Hit Counter

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive and advertisement free:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze