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The Bicycle Thief (1949)

1 rating: 3.0
Art House & International, Classics, and Drama movie directed by Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio De Sica's remarkable 1947 drama of desperation and survival in Italy's devastating post-war depression earned a special Oscar for its affecting power. Shot in the streets and alleys of Rome, De Sica uses the real-life environment of … see full wiki

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Genre: Classics
1 review about The Bicycle Thief (1949)

Stolen Dignity

  • Mar 14, 2007
(Oooops 5*'s) In Italy's classic movie, `The Bicycle Thief,' sociology and story come together as one for post World War II Italians. Convincing and with heart, we experience the pain of Antonio Ricci (Lamberti Maggiorani) as he becomes one of the lucky few to get a decent-paying job. He is to put up posters throughout Rome, using a broom and adhesive. If you've been there like I have, you notice that the city has bulletins and posters pastered all over their ancient walls. To work he must have a bicycle. He has one, but it is broken. Determined he accepts, but he hasn't the money for repairs. His wife sells their linen to pay the bicycle repair shop. All is set and his life has a whole new outlook until a thief steals his bicycle while he's on the job. He chases him, even hitching on a car, to no avail. He has a friend who takes him downtown, and we see a whole market of bicycles, some of which undoubtedly have been stolen. The vast majority of the movie focuses on him and his young son, Bruno (Enzo Staiola), as he goes to every corner of Rome to recover what misfortune fatefully handed to him in human form.

Containing (for then) a non-Hollywood ending and sporting perceptive social commentary, 'A Bicycle Thief' comes off as a post-depression 'Grapes of Wrath' for urban Italy. It gets us there by easily providing empathy for the characters and telling a simple, but solid story.

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