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 whilst 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 »
[He and his son are at a restaurant; together they notice a nearby table, occupied by an apparently well-off family who seem to be eating quite well]
To eat like that, you'd have to earn at least a million a month.
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A Heartbreaking Masterpiece of the Italian Neo-Realism
In the post-war Rome, after more than two-year unemployment, the family man Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) finally finds a disputed job position putting up posters that requires having a bicycle. However, he needs to retrieve his bicycle in the pawn shop but he does not have money. His wife Maria (Lianella Carell) pawns their bed sheets and uses the money to recover the precious bicycle. Antonio envisions a better life for his family with his salary, overtime and benefits. Unfortunately, his bicycle is stolen on the first working day. Antonio and his son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) spend the Sunday chasing the bicycle and the thief on the streets of Rome.
"Ladri di Biciclette" is a heartbreaking masterpiece of the Italian Neo- Realism and one of the best movies of cinema history ever. This is the third time that I watch this unforgettable film that makes me sad with the desperation of Antonio and his lack of perspective in the end. There are memorable touching scenes, like Bruno eating pizza in the restaurant wearing a torn coat and contrasting with the wealthy family; or the happiness of the clumsy Antonio putting up the poster of Rita Hayworth in "Gilda"; or the indecision of Bruno between a dish of soup in the church or chasing the old man with his father; or the shame of Antonio in the end. The DVD released in Brazil by Spectra Nova has good quality of image, subtitles in yellow but no Extras. The DVD released by Versátil uses the same matrix of Spectra Nova but with subtitles in white, and it is difficult the reading by the viewer. However, there are many Extras. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Ladrões de Bicicleta" ("Thieves of Bicycle")
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