10 Must-Watch Drama Movies Similar to Nights of Cabiria

In the enchanting Nights of Cabiria, a waifish prostitute navigates the vibrant streets of Rome, encountering heartbreak and longing for true love. If you're captivated by this cinematic gem, you won't want to miss our handpicked selection of 10 must-watch drama movies that capture the same essence and emotion. Get ready for a journey through compelling narratives that will leave you spellbound.

1) La strada

La strada: La Strada is the third Fellini movie that I have delighted myself with?the other two being Otto e Mezzo and La Dolce Vita?and coincidentally the least Felliniesque of the three, and I dare say, the simplest to interpret. And precisely that's the reason I have chosen it to begin my eulogy on Fellini's lifelong masterful works. Fellini's staunch critics had audaciously deemed him narcissistic and his singular works self-indulgent and self-gratifying. Their myopic vision made them overlook the fact that narcissism and solipsism are the very virtues that give form to art and aesthetics. A true artist uses these traits to isolate himself from the worldly pursuits so that he can create a connection with the divine and attain a sense of enlightenment. He then pours his heart out and offers it selflessly in the form of his art.

Release date: December, 1954
IMDB Rating: 8

2) The Swindle

The Swindle is reminiscent of Nights of Cabiria, as both movies are directed by the genius Federico Fellini and star the talented Giulietta Masina. While Cabiria follows the journey of a waifish prostitute in Rome searching for love amidst heartbreak, The Swindle explores the lives of a trio of con-men as they navigate the pressures of their jobs and families. Cabiria showcases a timeless tale of a woman with a highly moral character, while The Swindle delves into the depraved actions of the cons, who even pretend to be the Church to rob from the poor. Despite their criminal activities, the contrast is beautifully presented with glimpses into their home lives, where they are portrayed as husbands and fathers. Both films capture the essence of Italian cinema, with Fellini's distinct touch evident in the strong phases and moods depicted.

Release date: June, 1957
IMDB Rating: 7.5

3) Max and the Junkmen

Max and the Junkmen may not share the same title as Nights of Cabiria, but it certainly evokes a reminiscent feeling. Both films explore the world of prostitutes and the complexities of their lives. While Nights of Cabiria showcases the story of a waifish prostitute in Rome searching for true love but encountering only heartbreak, Max and the Junkmen takes a different approach. It follows a detective who goes undercover to set up a group of robbers but becomes increasingly entangled in his own mission. Despite their differences in plot, both films delve into the themes of manipulation, relationships, and the gritty realities of life. Max and the Junkmen, like Nights of Cabiria, offers a captivating narrative that keeps you engaged and wanting more. So, if you enjoyed the heartfelt portrayal of Cabiria's life in Nights of Cabiria, you'll definitely find Max and the Junkmen equally intriguing.

Release date: October, 1972
IMDB Rating: 7.3

4) Juliet of the Spirits

Juliet of the Spirits is reminiscent of Nights of Cabiria because both movies are directed by Federico Fellini and star the talented Giulietta Masina. While Nights of Cabiria portrays the story of a waifish prostitute searching for true love in the streets of Rome, Juliet of the Spirits follows the journey of a middle-class housewife trying to find the strength to leave her cheating husband. Both films showcase Fellini's unique vision and his ability to create captivating characters. Nights of Cabiria takes us back to a more innocent era, portraying the resilience and moral character of its protagonist, Cabiria. On the other hand, Juliet of the Spirits immerses us in a world of visions, memories, and mysticism, using dazzling and psychedelic scenes to achieve its surrealism. While the first film is a heartfelt drama, the second combines elements of comedy, drama, and fantasy.

Release date: October, 1965
IMDB Rating: 7.5

5) Desire

Desire. Paola, a Rome call girl, returns home to her village in an attempt to go straight. Rejected by her father, blackmailed by a former lover, and lusted after by her brother-in-law, she turns to her beloved sister for support. "Desire" takes us back to post-war Italy, just like "Nights of Cabiria", but with a different perspective. While both films explore the life of a prostitute, "Nights of Cabiria" focuses on the protagonist's resilience and hope in the face of heartbreak, whereas "Desire" portrays a more tragic and fatalistic atmosphere. The character of Paola, played by Elli Parvo, is quite riveting and reminiscent of Giulietta Masina's portrayal of Cabiria.

Release date: March, 1951
IMDB Rating: 6.5

6) La Ronde

La Ronde: Soldiers, chambermaids, poets, prostitutes, aristocrats?all are on equal footing in this multi-character merry-go-round of love and infidelity. Released in 1950, this French film by Max Ophüls is reminiscent of Nights of Cabiria in its exploration of love and the complexities of human relationships. While Cabiria follows the journey of a waifish prostitute in Rome, La Ronde takes us to Vienna in 1900, where the lives of various individuals intersect in a carousel of desire and infidelity. Both films delve deep into the human condition, showcasing the vulnerabilities, desires, and struggles of their characters. La Ronde, with its theme of interlinked stories, captures the essence of love's unpredictability, just like Cabiria's quest for true love amidst heartbreak. However, there are differences between the two films.

Release date: September, 1950
IMDB Rating: 7.5

7) My Forbidden Past

My Forbidden Past: Barbara Beaurevel lives in New Orleans in the late 1800s, where she falls in love with Mark Lucas, a research doctor at Tulane University. However, her plans to marry him are hindered due to her family's high society status and their efforts to conceal her connection to her late grandmother, who was not from the same social class. When Barbara inherits a fortune from her grandmother, she uses it to win back Mark. While My Forbidden Past may not be an outstanding film, it is a dark and intriguing noir B-movie. The chemistry between the stars, Ava Gardner and Robert Mitchum, who were lovers in real life, adds an extra layer of interest. If you enjoy the genre, you shouldn't miss this rare gem. Catch it on the classic movie channel.

Release date: April, 1951
IMDB Rating: 6.1

8) The Sinner

The Sinner is reminiscent of Nights of Cabiria in its portrayal of a woman living on the fringes of society, seeking love and facing heartbreak. Both films explore the challenges faced by their respective protagonists, who are prostitutes trying to find happiness in their tumultuous lives. However, while Nights of Cabiria takes place in Rome, The Sinner is set in Germany, providing a different cultural backdrop. Additionally, the runtime of The Sinner is slightly shorter than Nights of Cabiria, but both films manage to captivate audiences with their compelling stories. Despite their differences, The Sinner shares a similar emotional depth and offers a unique perspective on the struggles of its central character, making it a must-watch for fans of Nights of Cabiria.

Release date: January, 1951
IMDB Rating: 6.8

9) Miss Sadie Thompson

Miss Sadie Thompson is reminiscent of Nights of Cabiria because both movies revolve around the story of a woman with a questionable past. In Nights of Cabiria, we follow the journey of Cabiria, a waifish prostitute in Rome who is searching for true love but only finds heartbreak. Similarly, Miss Sadie Thompson tells the tale of Miss Sadie, a former prostitute who is trying to escape her past and find redemption. While both films explore the theme of a woman seeking a fresh start, they take different approaches in their storytelling. Nights of Cabiria focuses on the resilience and moral character of Cabiria, while Miss Sadie Thompson delves into the moral conflict between the self-righteous missionary, Reverend Davidson, and Sadie's desire to move on. Ultimately, Miss Sadie Thompson offers a different perspective on the journey of a woman seeking redemption, making it a compelling watch for those who enjoyed Nights of Cabiria.

Release date: February, 1954
IMDB Rating: 5.9

10) A Day in Court

A Day in Court is reminiscent of Nights of Cabiria because both movies explore the complexities of human nature through vivid characters and captivating stories set in Italy. While Nights of Cabiria delves into the life of a waifish prostitute searching for true love amidst heartbreak, A Day in Court takes us on a delightful journey through an Italian trial court, where a magistrate judges a variety of peculiar petty crimes and characters. The common thread in both films is the exploration of the human condition, but they differ in tone and focus. Nights of Cabiria is a poignant drama that showcases the resilience and moral character of its protagonist, while A Day in Court presents a comedy-satire that humorously portrays the absurdity of everyday life. Despite their differences, both movies offer a unique perspective on Italian society and provide an entertaining and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

Release date: January, 1956
IMDB Rating: 6.5

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