7.1/10
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15 user 6 critic

The Icicle Thief (1989)

Ladri di saponette (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy | 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 ...
Bruno Piermattei
...
Don Italo
Heidi Komarek ...
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 | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Icicle Thief  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,231,622 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

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.
See more »

Connections

References The Manchurian Candidate (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Relax and enjoy this!
11 October 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A fun takeoff on the serious drama of "The Bicycle Thief." The film contrasts the intense, self-centered film director; his characters, who are just trying to make things turn out more pleasantly for themselves; the ideal and imaginary people we see in commercials; and the people in the television audience who see any film chopped up into bits that fit around commercials and other station business.

A film critic who uses the notes he prepared for another film tries to evaluate and analyze the film the television program is playing (titled "The Icicle Thief"), while the director in the studio sputters in disbelief. The characters in the melodramatic black-and-white film are stuck in drudgery and dispair until the fantasy characters in the commercials start to enter their lives. The audience, represented by a typical family, just looks at the screen whenever there is nothing better to do, while the television program chatters on in their mundane existence. Could this be us? Could this be you?


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