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The Icicle Thief (1989)

Ladri di saponette (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy | 24 August 1990 (USA)
A movie resembling Bicycle Thieves (1948) is shown on TV, but the real-life world gets muddled with the film and the TV commercials.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself / Antonio Piermattei
Caterina Sylos Labini ...
Maria Piermattei
Federico Rizzo ...
...
Don Italo
Heidi Komarek ...
La modella
Carlina Torta ...
Telespettatrice
Massimo Sacilotto ...
Telespettatore
Claudio G. Fava ...
Critico
Lella Costa ...
Segretaria TV
Marco Zannoni ...
Tecnico TV
Anna Maria Torniai ...
Sarta TV (as Annamaria Torniai)
Clara Droetto ...
Truccatrice TV
Ernesto Calindri ...
Himself
Matteo Auguardi ...
Paolo Piermattei
Salvatore Landolina ...
Brigadiere
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Storyline

The director Maurizio Nichetti is invited by a TV studio to introduce a screening of his best-known film, the neo-realist classic 'Ladri di saponette'. But Nichetti is horrified to discover that his black-and-white tale of life in poverty is constantly interrupted by garish colour commercials, and even more horrified when a power cut in the studio causes film and commercials to be mixed up -a glamorous model finds herself in the arms of an unemployed pauper, while his wife finds herself in consumer heaven. So Nichetti has to break into the film to try to sort everything out Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Icicle Thief  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,231,622 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie makes extensive references to Bicycle Thieves (1948), starting with the title. This is done through a movie within the movie, sharing the same title and also using characters resembling those from the older film in name and appearance. "Ladri di Biciclette" means "The Bicycle Thieves"; while that is sometimes used as an English title, it is better known as "The Bicycle Thief". The Italian title of this newer movie, "Ladri di saponette", is a play on "Ladri di Biciclette"; it means "The Soap Thieves", and this apparently refers to the dialogue where Maria tells Bruno not to use up all the soap when washing his hands, remarking to Antonio that he must be eating it. The English title of the newer movie, "The Icicle Thief", has no relation to the Italian title but instead is a play on "The Bicycle Thief". It is tied to the movie through three lines of dialogue referring to chandeliers (one of them stolen during the movie) so sparkly they look "like icicles" - but this word occurs only in the English subtitles! The corresponding Italian dialogue does not use the word "ghiaccioli" meaning icicles at all. It refers to other sparkly objects: twice to "pèrle" meaning pearls, and once to "gocce" meaning drops of water. See more »

Quotes

Film Director: Where's the bicycle?
Bruno Piermattei: I sold it.
Film Director: Sold it? But with those bicycle wheels, you were supposed to make a wheelchair for your paralyzed father.
Bruno Piermattei: My father's quite well.
Film Director: Too bad! He should have been hit by a truck while riding home from the factory with the chandelier on the handlebars and your mommy should be whoring to feed the family.
Bruno Piermattei: What's that?
Film Director: You wouldn't know. You're too little. You and your brother should be in the orphanage.
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Connections

References The Manchurian Candidate (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
clever pop culture parody
28 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Film buffs with fond memories of Vittorio de Sica's post-war Italian Neo-realist masterpiece 'Ladri di Biciclette' won't want to miss Maurizio Nichetti's clever parody, in which the director himself is shown presenting his own homage to Neo-realism on Italian TV. The gimmick is that the movie within the movie is at first interrupted and then overwhelmed by garish television commercials, prompting Nichetti to enter his own film so he can salvage the narrative: not an easy task, since after a glimpse of consumer heaven his characters are reluctant to return to post-war Roman poverty. Nichetti manages to lampoon everything from pompous film critics to inappropriate commercial programming to (with affection) highbrow film pretensions, but his plea for cinematic integrity has its own crazy logic. And he certainly knows his sources, showing more than a touch of Chaplin in the black and white film-within-the-film and borrowing mannerisms from Woody Allen in the modern framing story. Favorite ongoing gag: the trouble-prone baby who can't resist playing with carving knives, electric light sockets, and so forth.


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