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La Strada (1954) Poster

(1954)

Quotes

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The Fool: If you won't stay with him, who will? I'm an ignorant man, but I've read a book or two. You may not believe it, but everything in this world has a purpose. Even this pebble, for example.

Gelsomina: Which one?

The Fool: This one. Any one. But even this one has a purpose.

Gelsomina: What's its purpose?

The Fool: Its purpose is - how should I know? If I knew, I'd be...

Gelsomina: Who?

The Fool: The Almighty, who knows everything. When you're born. When you die. Who knows? No, I don't know what this pebble's purpose is, but it must have one, because if this pebble has no purpose, then everything is pointless. Even the stars! At least, I think so. And you too. You have a purpose too.

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The Fool: Maybe he likes you?

Gelsomina: Zampanò... likes me?

The Fool: Why not? He's like a dog. Ever see those dogs who look like they want to speak, but all they do is bark?

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The Fool: What a funny face! Are you a woman, really? Or an artichoke?

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Zampanò: [reciting his act by rote before a crowd] Here we have a piece of chain that is a quarter of an inch thick. It is made of crude iron, stronger than steel. With the simple expansion of my pectoral muscles, or chest, that is, I'll break the hook.

[collecting money from the crowd]

Zampanò: Thank you, thank you. Now, to do this feat, I must fill myself up like a tire. If a blood vessel should break, I would spit blood. For instance, in Milan a man weighing 240 pounds lost his eyesight doing this trick. That is because the optical nerves take a beating, and once you lose your eyes, you are finished. If there's any delicate person in the audience, I would advise him to look away 'cause there could be blood.

[with seemingly great effort, he breaks the chain]

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Gelsomina: The Fool is hurt.

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Gelsomina's Mother: She's not like Rosa. But she's a good girl, poor thing. She'll do what she's told. She just came out a little strange. But, if she eats every day, maybe she'll get better.

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Gelsomina's Mother: You want to go with Zampanò and take Rosa's place? He'll teach you a trade. You'll earn some money. And one less mouth to feed around here wouldn't be bad.

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Gelsomina's Mother: Gelsomina, Zampanò's a good man. He'll treat you well. You'll travel the world. You'll sing and dance. And look what he gave me: 10,000 lire! I have it here, 10,000 lire! We can fix the roof and these poor things can eat. Why did your father ever leave us?

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Zampanò: Come here. There should be something here to fit you. I want you to look elegant. I don't want to see you in rags. My women have always looked smart.

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Zampanò: Do only what I tell you to.

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Gelsomina: Quiet flame, bright flame, quiet flame, night cries.

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Gelsomina: Where are you from?

Zampanò: My hometown.

Gelsomina: You don't talk like us. Where were you born?

Zampanò: My father's house.

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Prostitute: Wool? This ain't no wool! I could stick my toes through it.

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Prostitute: What line of work are you in?

Zampanò: I'm a traveling artist. This is my sidekick. I taught her everything. When I took her on, she couldn't even quack.

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Zampanò: Get in.

Prostitute: Is this piece of junk your car?

Zampanò: Don't you like it?

Prostitute: Are you crazy?

Zampanò: It's American. Hasn't broken down once in seven years.

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Gelsomina: You're one of those men who runs around with women.

Zampanò: What?

Gelsomina: Who runs around with women.

Zampanò: If you want to stay with me, you've got to learn one thing - to keep your mouth shut!

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Wedding Guest: Long live the bride, fresh as a rose!

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Zampanò: You always eat standing up like a horse?

Widow: I always eat on my feet. Who's going to keep the house going if not me?

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Widow: For three nights I've been up at 1:00am to cook. Think I'm tired? If I felt like it, I could dance all night long. Us older women are better than young girls.

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Zampanò: Why don't you remarry?

Widow: What? Another husband? I'm the only one who gives orders around here.

Zampanò: Is that all a husband is good for? Giving orders?

Widow: Think I'm not made of flesh and blood? Everybody likes sweets after a good meal.

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Gelsomina: Do you remember how beautiful it was, Zampanò? Watching the rain from the window that day?

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Giraffa: Don't be afraid. He won't eat you. We're all one big family and we all work together. The more the merrier.

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The Fool: Don't wait for me to finish. You have to interrupt me! And I told you to blow it over here, silly girl!

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The Fool: What if I asked you to come with me? I'll teach you to walk the tightrope, way up in the air, with all the lights on you. I have a car. We'd be traveling all the time. We'd have a world of fun. Would you iike that? But no. "Nothing." You have to stay with Zampanò and perform his ridiculous stunts and let him beat you like a donkey. Such is life.

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Nun: Do you like traveling from one place to the next all the time?

Gelsomina: That's how his work is.

Nun: We travel around too. We change convents every two years. This is my second.

Gelsomina: Why?

Nun: So we don't get too attached to the things of this world. You grow fond of where you live, even of a a plant. You risk forgetting your most important attachment, which is to God. So you see, we both travel. You follow your husband and I follow mine.

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The Fool: Hey, you broke my watch!

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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