IMDb Top 250: #216 The Nights of Cabiria

The Nights of Cabiria (1957)

Director: Federico Fellini
Writers: Federico Fellini (story), Ennio Flaiano (story)
Stars: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi

A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.


I was so excited to write the review for my first Italian movie, since I am part Italian myself. But ten minutes into this movie, and I was already disappointed. By the end, I was completely bored and lost all my enthusiasm.

The Nights of Cabiria tells the story of a naïve and good hearted prostitute, who works on the streets of Rome in the late 50s. In the beginning she is thrown into a river by her boyfriend, who steals all her money and lets her to die. Although she is saved, she still thinks that it was all an accident and waits for her boyfriend to return to her. After eventually realizing that he never loved her, Cabiria tries to move forward with her life, but everywhere she goes, people only want to take advantage of her. They see only a cow worth milking, not a person. In the end, she is left heartbroken and without everything, and yet, she finds the power to smile.

This one is definitely a classic. Is has such a beautiful air to it. It has a typical Italian charm, with good music, great views of Rome and everything around it. There is no denying what a memorable film this is, but it never truly reaches its potential. It gets lost along the way. Or this is what I think. But in the end, it is just a story about a girl looking for happiness in colorless world and her amazing ability to always find the strength to never give up.

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