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Criterion Collection: Umberto D. | Blu-ray Review

Perhaps remembered foremost for directing what is considered by many to be one of the best films of all time, Bicycle Thieves (1948), one of Italy’s forefathers of neorealism, Vittorio De Sica is arguably not as glorified for the rest of his excellent filmography, as may be the work of some of his peers, like Rossellini or Visconti. Criterion revitalizes one of his other well known neorealist classics, the tender and moving Umberto D. to Blu-ray this month, and it’s easy to see how the film has withstood the tests of time as a beautiful blend of social commentary of post WWII life in Italy, as well as a moving portrait of an affectionate relationship between a man and his dog in a cold, apathetic world.

During a protest demonstration enacted by a group of angry pensioners demanding more money than the meager amount they’re allotted, police officers
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DVD Playhouse: September 2012

By Allen Gardner

Quadrophenia (Criterion) Franc Roddam’s 1979 film based on The Who’s classic rock opera tells the story of working class lad Jimmy (Phil Daniels) struggling to find his identity in a rapidly changing Britain, circa 1965. Jimmy is a “mod,” a youth movement dedicated to wearing snappy suits, driving Vespa motor scooters bedecked with side mirrors, popping amphetamines and obsessed with the new sound of bands like The Who and The Kinks. Their other pastime is engaging in bloody brawls with “rockers,” throwbacks to the 1950s, who listen to Elvis and Gene Vincent, wear leather biker gear, grease in their hair and drive massive motorcycles a la Marlon Brando in “The Wild One.” Often cited as a worthy successor to “Rebel Without a Cause” as the greatest angry youth picture ever made, it is that and more, including a first cousin to the “kitchen sink” dramas of scribes John Osborne,
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Umberto D. Review d: Vittorio De Sica

Umberto D. (1952) Direction: Vittorio De Sica Cast: Carlo Battisti, Maria-Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari Screenplay: Cesare Zavattini Oscar Movies Flike, Carlo Battisti, Umberto D. By Dan Schneider of Cosmoetica Lost between the glare of The Bicycle Thief (1948) and his later films with Sophia Loren, Vittorio De Sica's 1952 drama Umberto D. stands as an almost forgotten masterpiece of Italian neorealism and one of the last films that could claim to be of that movement alone. Upon its release, Umberto D. was pilloried by a few cineastes who, unable to understand the chasm between true sentiment and false sentimentality, found it too maudlin, and by myopic critics — mostly left-wing dilettantes — who thought that the formerly middle-class civil servant's tale was not "socially conscious" enough for the filmmaker to waste his talents on. Umberto D. flopped, but it has steadily risen in De Sica's pantheon; it is now thought of as [...]
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