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Bicycle Thieves (1948)
"Ladri di biciclette" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  13 December 1949 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 69,553 users  
Reviews: 207 user | 121 critic

A man and his son search for a stolen bicycle vital for his job.

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Top 250 #89 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Enzo Staiola ...
Lianella Carell ...
Gino Saltamerenda ...
Baiocco
Vittorio Antonucci ...
The Thief
Giulio Chiari ...
The Beggar
Elena Altieri ...
The Charitable Lady
Carlo Jachino ...
A Beggar
Michele Sakara ...
Secretary of the Charity Organization
Emma Druetti
Fausto Guerzoni ...
Amateur Actor
Edit

Storyline

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 jolusoma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bicycle | job | thief | search | poster | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bicycle Thieves  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,845 (USA) (2 October 1998)

Gross:

$332,930 (USA) (3 September 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prospective producer David O. Selznick originally proposed casting Cary Grant as the lead. Vittorio De Sica countered with a request for Henry Fonda before deciding to cast all amateur actors. See more »

Quotes

The Beggar: I mind my own business, I bother nobody, and what do I get? Trouble.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.5 (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Another one to add to my top 50- a delicate study of desperation in post war Italy
8 April 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Vittorio De Sica's ground/heartbreaking motion picture, The Bicycle Thief, is based on a very simple ideal for a story- man against the elements. In this case the elements are of a society that is often cruel and unforgiving, and that a job in post-war Rome is looked on as the luckiest of good luck charms.

Such a man as presented by De Sica is Maggiorani (an actor who really is the type of actor right off the street), a father of a little boy who gets a job putting up movie posters along some walls in Rome. To do this he needs a bicycle, or the job will be lost, and he gets one following a pawning of linen sheets. Very soon though, the bicycle is stolen, and from there a sad downward spiral unravels for the man and his son as they scour the streets for the bicycle.

While the score adds basic dramatic tension, everything else on the screen is done to such a pitch of neo-realism it's at times shattering, joyful (scene in the pizzeria the most note-worthy), and with a feeling of day-to-day resonance to those who may have not even felt at or below the poverty level in their lives. Credit due to all parties involved, though I don't think the boy Bruno, played by Staiola, gets nearly enough considering his role as a minor coming of age (that moment after the father and son leave the church nearly brought tears to my eyes). A++


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