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The Bicycle Thief (1948)

Cast: Lamberto Maggiorani, Lamberto Maggiorani, Lianella Carell, more...
Director: Vittorio De Sica, Vittorio De Sica
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Classics, Drama, Foreign, Politics and Social Issues, Italy, Classic Drama, Coming of Age , Classic Drama
Running Time: 89 min.
Languages: English, Italian
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Synopsis
This landmark Italian neorealist drama became one of the best-known and most widely acclaimed European movies, including a special Academy Award as "most outstanding foreign film" seven years before that Oscar category existed. Written primarily by neorealist pioneer Cesare Zavattini and directed by Vittorio DeSica, also one of the movement's main forces, the movie featured all the hallmarks of the neorealist style: a simple story about the lives of ordinary people, outdoor shooting and lighting, non-actors mixed together with actors, and a focus on social problems in the aftermath of World War II. Lamberto Maggiorani plays Antonio, an unemployed man who finds a coveted job that requires a bicycle. When it is stolen on his first day of work, Antonio and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) begin a frantic search, learning valuable lessons along the way. The movie focuses on both the relationship between the father and the son and the larger framework of poverty and unemployment in postwar Italy. As in such other classic films as Shoeshine (1946), Umberto D. (1952), and his late masterpiece The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1971), DeSica focuses on the ordinary details of ordinary lives as a way to dramatize wider social issues. As a result, The Bicycle Thief works as a sentimental study of a father and son, a historical document, a social statement, and a record of one of the century's most influential film movements. ~ Leo Charney, All Movie Guide

Note: Please try the newer Criterion edition of The Bicycle Thieves

You might also enjoy:
Open City
Neo-realist masterpiece, another testament to human strength in the face of adversity

Cinema Paradiso
More recent, beloved Italian film with an even greater sentimental feel


GreenCine Member Reviews

this is an outdated transfer by kaream March 28, 2008 - 4:21 PM PDT
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2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Vittorio De Sica's 1948 masterpiece 'Ladri di biciclette' has been known as 'The Bicycle Thief' in the US since it was first distributed here, but The Criterion Collection has recently issued a remastered version, with new and better subtitles, in a two-disc set with important extras.

Confusingly, Criterion chose to retitle their release as 'Bicycle Thieves', which is the correct translation of the original Italian title.

GreenCine does have the new two-disc Criterion set, which is by far the better transfer -- rent it instead instead of this older one.

Great but a bit depressing by KiNo June 10, 2005 - 11:23 AM PDT
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1 out of 4 members found this review helpful
This is definitely a great classic movie and is on the opossite end of life in Italy from the famous La Dolce Vita. I got so used to some form of a happy ending in the mainstream cinema that the ending of the moview seemed too depressing for me - no hope. If you are looking for an entertainment - don't rent this one... It's better for when you are in the mood for some deeper thinking.

Post War Economics by carolynsearches July 7, 2004 - 9:18 PM PDT
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3 out of 9 members found this review helpful
Interesting film, not only for its touching relationship between father and son, but for its window into post-WW2 Rome.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 8.13)
382 Votes
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Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
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This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
etaviotal
Vitallia's Rental Favs
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Some of these films are not as fresh in my mind as when I first viewed them. This is my first list and these are some of the highlights.
vitallia

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