Variety Lights (1965) - Rotten Tomatoes

Variety Lights1965

Variety Lights (1965)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Variety Lights Photos

Movie Info

In this Italian film, an ambitious young girl (Carla Del Poggio) meets up with a traveling group of performers and decides to run off with them and leave her small-town life behind. In Italian with English subtitles, this picture was Federico Fellini's film debut.


Peppino De Filippo
as Checco Dal Monte
Carla Del Poggio
as Liliana 'Lily' Antonelli
John Kitzmiller
as Trumpet Player
Folco Lulli
as Adelmo Conti
Carlo Romano
as Enzo La Rosa
Gina Mascetti
as Valeria del Sole
Checco Durante
as Theater Owner
Enrico Piergentili
as Melina's Father
Fanny Marchio
as Soubrette
Silvio Bagolini
as Bruno Antonini
Vanja Orico
as Gypsy Singer
Franca Valeri
as Hungarian Designer
Giulio Calì
as Edison Will
Renato Malavasi
as Hotelkeeper
Marco Tulli
as Spectator
Alberto Lattuada
as Theater Attendant
View All

Critic Reviews for Variety Lights

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (1)

The cognoscenti will recognize touches that have turned up in eight Fellini features that followed this one.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

It's a refreshingly evocative backstage showbiz pic, that tells a familiar story with much compassion for human frailty.

April 2, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…

In as sordid a trade as showbiz, it pays to create theater out of life's miseries

September 25, 2009 | Full Review…

Even in this early effort the whimsical, odd world of Fellini comes dancing forth.

August 29, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Delightfully charming and whimsical, if nowhere near as consequential as Fellini's best.

December 22, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

a funny, touching film about the foibles of desire and the dreams of stardom shared by both the young and the old

February 27, 2001 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Variety Lights


Federico Fellini co-directed "Variety Lights" with mentor Albert Lattuada, but it clearly bears his stamp -- the showbiz theme and loose, multi-character storytelling foreshadow his entire career. Fellini had not hooked up with composer Nino Rota yet, but the ever-delightful Giuletta Masina is here. The film's story follows a shabby vaudeville troupe led by the likably vulnerable Mr. Checco (Peppino de Filippo). A beautiful dancer seeking fame (Carla Del Poggio) contrives a way into the act and quickly becomes the star. Checco has a pattern of wooing his "discoveries" and soon falls for the new talent. This upsets his previous conquest (Masina), a dubious "master of disguise" who calls herself Melina Amour. Meanwhile, other problems with personnel and bookings threaten to sink the company. The first half is far stronger than its second -- once Del Poggio's character grabs the spotlight, the story loses steam. Still, "Variety Lights" is a must for Fellini fans. And perhaps for Woody Allen fans too -- the scenario seems a likely inspiration for "Broadway Danny Rose."

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Variety Lights Quotes

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