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Sciuscià (Ragazzi)
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Shoeshine (1946) More at IMDbPro »Sciuscià (Ragazzi) (original title)

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Shoeshine -- Trailer for Shoeshine

Overview

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View company contact information for Shoeshine on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 August 1947 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(14 articles)
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User Reviews:
"Sciuscia", the rallying cry of a stolen childhood and the heart-breaking epitaph of a destroyed friendship ... See more (17 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Franco Interlenghi ... Pasquale Maggi
Rinaldo Smordoni ... Giuseppe Filippucci
Annielo Mele ... Raffaele
Bruno Ortenzi ... Arcangeli
Emilio Cigoli ... Staffera
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pacifico Astrologo ... Vittorio (uncredited)
Maria Campi ... Palmist (uncredited)
Antonio Carlino ... L'Abruzzese (uncredited)
Angelo D'Amico ... Siciliano (uncredited)
Francesco De Nicola ... Ciriola (uncredited)
Enrico De Silva ... Giorgio (uncredited)
Claudio Ermelli ... Nurse (uncredited)
Leo Garavaglia ... Inspector (uncredited)
Antonio Lo Nigro ... Righetto (uncredited)
Antonio Nicotra ... Social worker (uncredited)
Anna Pedoni ... Nannarella (uncredited)
Gino Saltamerenda ... Il panza (uncredited)
Irene Smordoni ... Giuseppe's mother (uncredited)
Peppino Spadaro ... Lawyer Bonavino (uncredited)
Mario Volpicelli ... Prison principal (uncredited)

Directed by
Vittorio De Sica 
 
Writing credits
Sergio Amidei  &
Adolfo Franci  &
Cesare Giulio Viola  (as Cesare G. Viola) &
Cesare Zavattini 

Produced by
Paolo William Tamburella .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alessandro Cicognini 
 
Cinematography by
Anchise Brizzi 
 
Film Editing by
Niccolò Lazzari  (as Nicolò Lazzari)
 
Production Design by
Ivo Battelli 
Giulio Lombardozzi  (as G. Lombardozzi)
 
Production Management
Nino Ottavi .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Elmo De Sica .... second assistant director
Argi Rovelli .... second assistant director
Umberto Scarpelli .... assistant director
Armando W. Tamburella .... second assistant director
 
Sound Department
Tullo Parmegiani .... sound (as Tullio Parmegiani)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Elio Paccara .... camera operator
 
Other crew
Franco Serino .... production assistant
Herman G. Weinberg .... subtitler: English
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sciuscià (Ragazzi)" - Italy (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
93 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Photophone System)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Finland:K-16 (1953) | Portugal:M/12 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:12 (re-rating) (2006) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Quotes:
Giuseppe Filippucci:Whoever invented the elevator is a genius.
Pasquale Maggi:Tell me about it. I slept in one for three months.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Bye Bye Braverman (1968)See more »

FAQ

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
"Sciuscia", the rallying cry of a stolen childhood and the heart-breaking epitaph of a destroyed friendship ..., 5 September 2012
Author: ElMaruecan82 from France

"Sciuscia" … one word carrying the poignant context of a devastating story, as the Italianization of the word 'Shoeshine', the name given to the little 'ragazzi' who shined GI's boots for a living. We're in 1945, when Italy was still recovering from the ashes of WWII.

In one title, the tone is set, in an impoverished Italy, the main protagonists are all children carrying in their hands and hearts the hope of a slow rebirth. This light of hope is even conveyed in the opening scene when two kids, two friends, Pasquale and Giuseppe ride horses in the middle of a forest under a bright sunshine. Their fetish-horse is a white one, the fastest one, named Bersagliere, and both dream of owning him. Like in "Bicycle Thieves" or "Umberto D." the simplest things make the most inspirational statements about humanity, a bicycle is synonym of hope, a little dog is the only companionship an old man can dream of, in "Sciuscia", the horse is the dream, the exhilarating feeling of freedom inhabiting Pasquale and Giuseppe's hearts and the cement of a seemingly unbreakable friendship.

Friendship, if anything, "Sciuscia" is the heart-warming story of a friendship, before it would turn into the heart-breaking chronicle of its destruction, all the more tragic because both couldn't foresee their lives without each other, and De Sica doesn't need to make it said, it's obvious. Pasquale is an orphan who lives in Giuseppe's home and while Giuseppe, younger and more immature, complains about having to give part of his 'shoeshine' money to his family, Pasquale wished he had a family to give money to. These boys have hopes, dreams, principles and even an innocence that haven't been undermined yet by a tragic turn of events. Unfortunately, Giuseppe has an older brother Attilio, who works for a fence named Panza, Attilio incarnates the eventual danger that Giuseppe might end like him and it's not coincidental that we meet him when Giuseppe talks to his child love, a pretty little girl who becomes, at that moment, the last link to childhood before the irreparable would be committed.

As I said, "Sciuscia" carries the whole story in its title, it was in 1945, the GI were still here, and while the political authority was in reconstruction, many Italians made money through Black Market. Giuseppe and Pasquale were given a mission: to sell some US blankets to an old-lady, unknowing that Attilio and Panza would come up later passing as cops to steal the poor woman. Given enough money to buy the horse, they'll live the happiest parenthesis of their lives, riding Bersagliere, an exciting state of grace interrupted when they're questioned by the cops regarding the stealing of the old lady's money. Refusing to break the Omerta, and having no proof against them, both kids agree not to talk and patiently spend their time in the juvenile detention center.

"Sciuscia" turns into a powerful social commentary about juvenile delinquency as the only desperate answer to difficult economical conditions, when kids were put in the same trunk with prostitutes, when some were forced to steal to nourish their family. As the trunk leaves the street, both Giuseppe and Pasquale are precociously leaving childhood, incarnated by the little girl who follows the trunk. And the center is filmed with a documentary-like realism that finds the right tone between pathos and cold realism, De Sica trusts our intelligence enough not to portray the kids as little angels, some of them lie, frighten the newcomers, provoke fights, but some others are indeed victim of cruelly sad circumstances and a slow bureaucracy, like the kid named Rafaelle who can't be put in a sanatorium despite a severe lung-conditions. Even the administrators are not all one-dimensional, they're men who went through Fascism, a war, and only use violence because disorder would be much worse.

Fatally, Pasquale and Giuseppe have their friendships affected by their detention, starting at the moment they're sent in different cells: their cries, and shouts, the way they keep their hands hooked to each other is an extraordinary display of desperate need to be together. Their separation only exposes them to the worst, to the influence of their respective groups that would slowly and progressively drive them apart. And it starts at the pivotal moment of the film when one of the guards pretends to hit Giuseppe to force Pasquale to talk, it's out of his love that Pasquale breaks his premise, and starts the turn of events that will destroy their friendship. Giuseppe will think of Pasquale as a snitch who sold his brother, and as revenge, sets him up in return, putting a deathblow on their friendship.

It's impossible to describe with words the tragic path the movie takes, and its extreme realism only makes it worse. If "Bicycle Thieves" is regarded as one of the saddest films ever, there still is an imperceptible light of hope at the end. In "Sciuscia", the film doesn't have a sad score, the main theme is the joyful riddle-like music of the white horse that reminds of childhood's insouciance but God, it cruelly contrasts with the slow transformation that involves the two protagonists, even physical, the loss of innocence is one thing, but what can be sadder than a destroyed friendship. Killing the myth of the friendship built behind the bars, the film demonstrates how authority, bureaucracy, order can annihilate the most beautiful aspects of humanity, and finally how fragile are the most beautiful virtues.

But I wonder if it's not sadder than the film itself, that one of the greatest masterpieces of Italian neo-realism, a movie I knew about through Scorsese's documentary about his Italian influence and Pauline Kael's review, has only 14 reviews (counting mine) while "The Avengers" already has 1207. One thing for sure, no last minute of a film haunted me as much as in "Sciuscia", while I desperately looked for something to keep my faith on humanity.

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