Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Under provincial Italian law at the time, once a roof is erected, the occupants cannot be evicted from a building. This comedy follows the efforts of a family to erect the roof on a house ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Tribute to Naples, where director De Sica spent his first years, this is a collection of 6 Neapolitan episodes : a clown exploited by a gangster ; an inconstant pizza seller (Sofia) losing ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Eduardo De Filippo
Mussolini's Italy, late 1930s: the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading wealthy Jewish families. Their adult children gather friends for tennis and parties at their lovely grounds, with the... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
At a track near Rome, shoeshine boys are watching horses run. Two of the boys, the orphan Pasquale and his younger friend Giuseppe, are riding. The pair have been saving to buy a horse of their own to ride. The boys meet Attilio, Giuse's much older brother, and his shady friend at a boat on the Tiber. In return for a commission, the boys agree to deliver black market goods to a fortune-teller. Once the woman has paid, Attilio's gang suddenly arrives, pretending to be cops, to shake the woman down. With a payoff from Attilio, the boys are able to make the final payment and stable their horse in Trastevere over the river. The fortune-teller identifies Pasqua and Giuse. Held at an overcrowded boys' prison, they are separated. Giuse falls under the influence of an older lad in his cell, Arcangeli. During interrogation, Pasqua is tricked into betraying Giuse's brother to the police. With their trial still in the future, the two friends are driven further apart.Written by
This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Tuesday 14 September 1948 on KTLA (Channel 5), in Lowell MA (serving the Boston Area) Saturday 25 September 1948 on WBZ (Channel 4), in Chicago Sunday 26 September 1948 on WGN (Channel 9), in Cincinnati Saturday 22 October 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11), and in San Francisco Friday 6 January 1950 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »
Boy! I've told you enough times not to leave the horse unattended.
But that's not a horse, it's a small table.
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Some USA video editions are edited to suppress the full nudity in the shower scene and to minimize the subsequent fist fight between two boys. See more »
After Umberto D. and The Bicycle Thieves, I was loving Vittorio De Sica. His neo-realism films are heartbreaking and ring true to the human spirit. He almost has a free pass to make my top directors list, I just got to fill his next 3 spots. In retrospect, Shoeshine has brilliant plotting and characterisation. It takes emotionally motivated turns and has well constructed cruel ironies. Unfortunately, it struggles with its execution. It's not as tightly edited or shot as his two later films, often making scenes confusing and key plot points are missed. The score and performances, of which I recognise are from amateurs, can be too melodramatic. Its atmosphere ends up feeling inauthentic. Umberto and Bicycle were great for their subdued portrayals of inner pain, I wish Shoeshine was the same. I would love to rank this film among those two as its screenplay is really great but both the crew in front and behind camera let it down. Still has a punch though and gets more engaging as it goes along. Great decision to have most of the film take place in that great set of a juvenile prison.
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