First the story line. A street entertainer with a strong man act breaking chains across his chest returns to the poverty stricken single mother to tell her that the daughter he has previously bought from her has died. He now takes the next daughter who is simple, trusting and curious. This was slave trading then and slave trading now.
He makes her his common law wife, although there is no indication that she has opposed this, and makes her a part of his act as well as requiring round the clock personal attention.
Her loyalty is quickly stretched by his unfaithfulness and periodic violence as well as jealousy when others show her interest and concern, and offer help. She spurns opportunities to break with him only to find that when she becomes sick he leaves her. When returns he finds that she has survived for a while but has died, this appears to mark the ending, or near ending of his life.
The film explores the nature of marital relationships between those with significantly different backgrounds and experiences. Anthony Quinn plays the street entertainer is essentially Anthony Quinn Anthony Quinn but the find was the wife of Fellini, Giuletta who is amazing and justifies all the praise that .Italy and the rest of the film world gave her. From interviews on the DVD. you can see she has the same romantic faith in life and I in others as she portrays in the film, but is also her own woman with her own interests and social life, while retaining the same warmth and open spirit. I will have to try and view other performances.
(I have been given the DVD and will re- experience and write an expanded response).