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.

Director:

Vittorio De Sica

Writers:

Sergio Amidei (story), Adolfo Franci (story) | 6 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Franco Interlenghi ... Pasquale Maggi
Rinaldo Smordoni Rinaldo Smordoni ... Giuseppe Filippucci
Annielo Mele Annielo Mele ... Raffaele (as Aniello Mele)
Bruno Ortensi Bruno Ortensi ... Arcangeli (as Bruno Ortenzi)
Emilio Cigoli Emilio Cigoli ... Staffera
Edit

Storyline

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 David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Un milagro como no conoció el cine en los 50 años de su historia! [Spanish poster.]

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is a Napulitan corruption of the English word "shoe-shiner." See more »

Quotes

Pasquale Maggi: [as the film projector is being set up in the boys' prison] In here they feed us, they shelter us, they give us clothes, and they even entertain us. What else could we want? This is paradise!
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Christmas Rematch (2004) See more »

User Reviews

 
Italy at a turning point
28 March 2019 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

With World War II over and the Fascist Party abolished, Italy was now set to address its recent past, as well as social issues affecting the country. Vittorio De Sica famously did this with "The Bicycle Thief", about a man witnessing the ambient poverty after his bicycle gets stolen. But a previous movie in which he focused on poverty was 1946's "Sciuscià" ("Shoeshine" in English), the first ever movie to win Best Foreign Language Film (at the time an honorary award). The protagonists are some boys arrested for petty crime and thrown into a brutal jail. Once inside, life becomes more dangerous than it had been before.

De Sica pulls no punches in showing the jail's cruelty. The era isn't identified, but it doesn't need to be: the point is that life will not be easy for the majority of Italy's citizens. This exercise in neorealism shows the high-quality direction that Italian cinema was to take in the coming years. I hope to see more of his movies.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

26 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shoeshine See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed