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.

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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:

,  »
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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 Capitol (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A beautifully executed spoof on pop culture
30 November 1998 | by (Denver, CO) – See all my reviews

A movie is shown on Italian TV, edited for time and content and butchered so badly even the characters in the film don't know where they end and the commercials begin. Incensed, the director hops a train to Rome to complain to the Italian Film Board of the mockery being made of his film. Unfortunately, his train arrives at the terminal in the film, and he becomes part of the ever-increasingly discombobulated action.

This is a comedic masterwork of satire, spoof and slapstick. While the film's title and the "film-within-a-film" are both take-offs on DiSica's classic "The Bicycle Thief", this is, in fact inspired by the best of Chaplin, Keaton and, in some ways, "Your Show of Shows". Director/star Maurizio Nichetti keeps the comic action going at a furious pace, never missing an opportunity to assault the film industry marketing hype and TV industry advertising joke he so disdains.

You won't want to think about the satire, though, while you're watching this. No matter how much you may hate subtitled films, this is a genuine riot, and you will not stop laughing.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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