In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
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
Vittorio De Sica's son Manuel recalled in an interview the filming of scenes in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele: "...Papa told me about coming across, early in the morning, the director of photography of the film Carlo Montuori, completely frozen, clinging to his camera, devotedly waiting for the fleeting moment. He had stayed there in order to protect with his whole body the chassis (the magazine of film mounted on the back of the camera) from the rigours of the night. Dawn has a brief duration, and for this reason several days were needed to sew together long sequences which had cost many early forced awakenings for the entire troupe just to get a few minutes of footage...During the filming in Piazza Vittorio, he required the production secretary, Roberto Moretti, to stop the trams passing. Poor Moretti, who did not even have a permit to set up the tripod of the camera on the square, with great presence of mind disguised himself as a tram conductor, and began to redirect all the trams bursting with workers that happened to pass in proximity to the square. Before anyone guessed the reason for the existence of this man in the middle of the crossroads, the shooting was finished and Roberto arrested." See more »
[Addressing a young man seated before her, apparently seeking advice on his love life]
You must plant your seeds in another field. Do you understand what I mean?
Young man seeking advice:
No, I don't understand.
It's simple, my boy. What good is planting seeds if the soil rejects them? You plant, but don't gather. Understand?
Young man seeking advice:
I haven't understood a word.
She doesn't love you! Forget her!
[Pausing for effect]
Dear boy, you're very ugly. Yes, ugly. There are so many other women... Go and plow another ...
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Exceptional film which should be honored and treasured
Italian Neorealism has always been one of my favorite film movements, and The Bicycle Thief appears to be one the finest examples of this medium. While people today might not understand the power in the story, one has to understand the nature state of Italy after World War II. The country was in ruins, and finding a good job was difficult. Desperation took over more often than reason, and this leads to the eventual climax of self pity and remorse. Quite a powerful film, for it is the only foreign film I have on my personal Top 25 list.
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