Giulietta Masina won Best Actress at Cannes as the title character of one of Fellini's most haunting films. Oscar® winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria) is the tragic story of a nai... more »ve prostitute searching for true love in the seediest sections of Rome. Criterion proudly presents the restored director's cut in a breathtaking new transfer.« less
A MOST BEAUTIFUL FILM THAT WILL REMAIN WITH YOU FOREVER!
Claude Bouchard Jr. | Frederick, MD | 07/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Ah, Fellini, Masina!
Reviewer | 02/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A prostitute whose life is a veritable study in the resilience of the human spirit is the subject of "Nights of Cabiria," directed by Federico Fellini. Giulietta Masina stars as Cabiria, a gentle soul at heart who manages to maintain a positive outlook even in the face of adversity. Experiences that would leave those of lesser mettle jaded she is seemingly able to ward off and emerge from intact, with a guarded optimism that nevertheless leaves her open to whatever ills life may have in store for her next. But it is just that optimism and her sense of joy in the simple things that makes her so endearing. She is proud, for example, of the fact that she owns her own house, hovel though it may be. Though not one to be easily duped, she is vulnerable to sincere persistence, which has in the past rendered her victim to those who would take advantage of her, which is succinctly established in the opening scene of the film. Fellini's film is a study of how good may succumb to evil, and yet still triumph in the end (though open to subjective interpretation). It's something of an examination of endurance; how many times can one be knocked down before finally being unable to stand back up again. At the same time, however, it's an example of how purity can prevail against even the utmost cruelty. There is a humanity manifested in Cabiria that somehow gives absolution, not only to her lifestyle, but to those who would willingly do her harm. And it is in that very same absolution that we find a message of hope and redemption. As Cabiria, the diminutive Masina gives a performance that is nothing less than superlative, filled with nuance and expression. She has a face and a manner that convey an unbelievable depth of emotion, and Fellini captures every bit of it with his camera to perfection. It sometimes seems that she is a sprite merely masquerading as a woman; she has a light, almost ethereal presence, though at the same time she exhibits an earthy quality that gives her character such complexity, which removes any semblance of stereotype one may assign to her character as a "lady of the evening." It is a heartfelt, memorable portrayal that quite simply should have earned her an Oscar for Best Actress. Turning in a noteworthy performance, also, is Francois Perier, as Oscar D'Onofrio, the stranger who comes into Cabiria's life with an offer that ultimately seems too good to be true. The supporting cast includes Amedeo Nazzari (Alberto Lazzari), Aldo Silvani (The Hypnotist), Franca Marzi (Wanda), Dorian Gray (Jessy), Mario Passante (Cripple in the "Miracle" sequence), Pina Gualandri (Matilda), Leo Cattozzo (Man with the sack) and Polidor (The Monk). "Nights of Cabiria" is a film of extraordinary depth that is beautiful as well in it's humanity; Fellini has created images, both visually and emotionally, that are stunning and indelibly realized. Highlighted by the performance of Giulietta Masina, this is a film that begs to be embraced, one that will stay with you long after the last shadow has passed from the screen into darkness. In Cabiria, Fellini somehow touches something eternal, for there is a lasting sense of innate goodness about her that simply cannot be forgotten. For seekers after wisdom and truth, this is definitely a film that must not be missed."
Some technical facts about the transfer of Nights of Cabiria
Reviewer | 01/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is just some information about the new "Nights of Cabiria" transfer. In one of the customer reviews by Fred Melden, it is mentioned that the "dubbing and subtitles were poor, often not even closely matching one another." Let's get one thing straight, the dub-track was included on the DVD as supplimental material... mostly to show how silly the 50's dubbed version must have looked it's original US release, not as the preferable way to view the film.Secondly, the reason the subtitles don't match the dub-track is that the subtitles are A NEW AND IMPROVED TRANSLATION. They aren't meant to match; the subtitles are an improvement.Lastly, the reason that some chapers are missing the English dub-track is that those particular scenes were cut from the film before its US release, menaing a dub-track was never done for them. These scenes are are available for the first time since the film's initial Cannes festival premier in 1956. This is a restored cut of the film."
Masina Might Be the Best Film Actress Ever
R. A Rubin | Eastern, PA United States | 02/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Federico Fellini, but I dread his early works like La Strada because they are so sad. Poor Giulietta Masina, one of the greatest film actresses of all time, she always gets the short end of the stick and because the movie magic is so intense, our heart breaks right along with her.
Fellini is the Great Director Italian style. I don't mean he isn't the greatest director, better than Hitchcock, Welles, a modern like Scorcese. I'm looking at his work, have seen most of them, and I can't make up my mind. He might be the greatest that ever lived. His films in black and white, the Neo-Realism of Italian film after the war, the incredible original vision, the writing, and directing, it's as though Michelangelo came back as a director.
Masina is a prostitute, but her loves turn out to be pocketbook grabbers. Her physical well being is not high on her boyfriend's priority list. She's such a little women, frail, and in Nights she plays a tough, brawling, whimsical, and hopeless romantic. Her acting style is over the top, almost carnival character as she had played it in La Strada, but as Cabiria, she's older, but not necessarily wiser. The final revelation with French actor François Périer is so heart rendering because after an hour and a half of Cabiria's, laughter, trials, and disappointments, we identify with her completely. And then, in one last scene, the carnival returns with hope.
There is so much more to say about this film. You could write a book. "
Ah, Cabiria, how you come through your nights
Alison Castle | Paris, France | 02/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This early Fellini masterpiece stands among history's greatest films. Masina delivers a shattering performance as a tough-luck prostitute who refuses to let life let her down. This film tore me apart the first time I saw it (at the Quad Cinema on 12th Street in Manhattan, alone on a rainy afternoon sometime in the mid-90s) and subsequent viewings did subsequently tear me to shreds. It instills the most beautiful kind of melancholy; never has a film had such a tragic and uplifting ending. Cabiria is a model of blind hope, so rare in the human spirit. We need more people like her."