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Shoeshine (1946)

Sciuscià (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 26 August 1947 (USA)
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1:28 | Trailer

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Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.

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(story), (story) | 6 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Rinaldo Smordoni ...
Annielo Mele ...
Raffaele
Bruno Ortenzi ...
Arcangeli
Emilio Cigoli ...
Staffera
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Storyline

At a track near Rome, shoeshine boys are watching horses run. Two of the boys, the orphan Pasquale and his younger friend Giuseppe, are riding. The pair have been saving to buy a horse of their own to ride. The boys meet Attilio, Giuse's much older brother, and his shady friend at a boat on the Tiber. In return for a commission, the boys agree to deliver black market goods to a fortune-teller. Once the woman has paid, Attilio's gang suddenly arrives, pretending to be cops, to shake the woman down. With a payoff from Attilio, the boys are able to make the final payment and stable their horse in Trastevere over the river. The fortune-teller identifies Pasqua and Giuse. Held at an overcrowded boys' prison, they are separated. Giuse falls under the influence of an older lad in his cell, Arcangeli. During interrogation, Pasqua is tricked into betraying Giuse's brother to the police. With their trial still in the future, the two friends are driven further apart. Written by David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Un milagro como no conoció el cine en los 50 años de su historia! [Spanish poster.]

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Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

26 August 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shoeshine  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Rinaldo Smordoni and Franco Interlenghi. See more »

Quotes

Pasquale Maggi: [as the film projector is being set up in the boys' prison] In here they feed us, they shelter us, they give us clothes, and they even entertain us. What else could we want? This is paradise!
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Connections

Referenced in Promise Her Anything (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliantly plotted but rough execution.
21 September 2013 | by (Suffolk, England) – See all my reviews

After Umberto D. and The Bicycle Thieves, I was loving Vittorio De Sica. His neo-realism films are heartbreaking and ring true to the human spirit. He almost has a free pass to make my top directors list, I just got to fill his next 3 spots. In retrospect, Shoeshine has brilliant plotting and characterisation. It takes emotionally motivated turns and has well constructed cruel ironies. Unfortunately, it struggles with its execution. It's not as tightly edited or shot as his two later films, often making scenes confusing and key plot points are missed. The score and performances, of which I recognise are from amateurs, can be too melodramatic. Its atmosphere ends up feeling inauthentic. Umberto and Bicycle were great for their subdued portrayals of inner pain, I wish Shoeshine was the same. I would love to rank this film among those two as its screenplay is really great but both the crew in front and behind camera let it down. Still has a punch though and gets more engaging as it goes along. Great decision to have most of the film take place in that great set of a juvenile prison.

7/10


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