Ricci, an unemployed man in the depressed post-WWII economy of Italy, gets at last a good job - for which he needs a bike - hanging up posters. But soon his bicycle is stolen. He and his son walk the streets of Rome, looking for the bicycle. Ricci finally manages to locate the thief but with no proof, he has to abandon his cause. But he and his son know perfectly well that without a bike, Ricci won't be able to keep his job. Written by
Future Italian director Ettore Scola, who was only fifteen years old at the time, recalled passing the Piazza Vittorio while on his way to school one day and wondering why it was so deserted that time of day. He said, "...only a worker, a street sweeper and a child were crossing the street, going in the direction of the market. A low and strangely close voice, like that of a prompter amplified by a megaphone, reached the actors and the crowd gathered behind the barriers: 'More slowly, Lamberto. Let Gino go ahead. Enzo, keep behind Papa.' The whisper was coming from a small tower on top of which, in a little wooden armchair, was seated a gentleman wearing a hat, a scarf, and a camel hair coat." See more »
The Bicycle Thief is without a doubt De Sica's masterpiece of Italian neorealism filmmaking. It is a true landmark in cinema history.
A man who has been unemployed for months is finally given a chance at a job putting up posters. He and his family have been living in poverty for months, and are very exited to hear the news. The only requirement for the job is a bicycle. His wife pawns the sheets off of their own bed in order to buy the bicycle. And, as you can tell from the title, it is stolen on his first day of work. Now, without it, he and his son search the crowded streets of Rome for the only thing that can give him back his dignity as a man.
This is a simple, but very powerful film and I found the relationship between Bruno and his father especially touching. The final scene is a true captivating moment as Bruno witnesses the true nature of man and the world we have created for ourselves.
Don't miss this film, to call it a classic would be an understatement.
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