A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Ricci, an unemployed man in the depressed post-WWII economy of Italy, gets at last a good job - for which he needs a bike - hanging up posters. But soon his bicycle is stolen. He and his son walk the streets of Rome, looking for the bicycle. Ricci finally manages to locate the thief but with no proof, he has to abandon his cause. But he and his son know perfectly well that without a bike, Ricci won't be able to keep his job.Written by
Vittorio De Sica's son Manuel recalled in an interview the filming of scenes in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele: "...Papa told me about coming across, early in the morning, the director of photography of the film Carlo Montuori, completely frozen, clinging to his camera, devotedly waiting for the fleeting moment. He had stayed there in order to protect with his whole body the chassis (the magazine of film mounted on the back of the camera) from the rigours of the night. Dawn has a brief duration, and for this reason several days were needed to sew together long sequences which had cost many early forced awakenings for the entire troupe just to get a few minutes of footage...During the filming in Piazza Vittorio, he required the production secretary, Roberto Moretti, to stop the trams passing. Poor Moretti, who did not even have a permit to set up the tripod of the camera on the square, with great presence of mind disguised himself as a tram conductor, and began to redirect all the trams bursting with workers that happened to pass in proximity to the square. Before anyone guessed the reason for the existence of this man in the middle of the crossroads, the shooting was finished and Roberto arrested." See more »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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[Addressing a young man seated before her, apparently seeking advice on his love life]
You must plant your seeds in another field. Do you understand what I mean?
Young man seeking advice:
No, I don't understand.
It's simple, my boy. What good is planting seeds if the soil rejects them? You plant, but don't gather. Understand?
Young man seeking advice:
I haven't understood a word.
She doesn't love you! Forget her!
[Pausing for effect]
Dear boy, you're very ugly. Yes, ugly. There are so many other women... Go and plow another ...
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A Heartbreaking Masterpiece of the Italian Neo-Realism
In the post-war Rome, after more than two-year unemployment, the family man Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) finally finds a disputed job position putting up posters that requires having a bicycle. However, he needs to retrieve his bicycle in the pawn shop but he does not have money. His wife Maria (Lianella Carell) pawns their bed sheets and uses the money to recover the precious bicycle. Antonio envisions a better life for his family with his salary, overtime and benefits. Unfortunately, his bicycle is stolen on the first working day. Antonio and his son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) spend the Sunday chasing the bicycle and the thief on the streets of Rome.
"Ladri di Biciclette" is a heartbreaking masterpiece of the Italian Neo- Realism and one of the best movies of cinema history ever. This is the third time that I watch this unforgettable film that makes me sad with the desperation of Antonio and his lack of perspective in the end. There are memorable touching scenes, like Bruno eating pizza in the restaurant wearing a torn coat and contrasting with the wealthy family; or the happiness of the clumsy Antonio putting up the poster of Rita Hayworth in "Gilda"; or the indecision of Bruno between a dish of soup in the church or chasing the old man with his father; or the shame of Antonio in the end. The DVD released in Brazil by Spectra Nova has good quality of image, subtitles in yellow but no Extras. The DVD released by Versátil uses the same matrix of Spectra Nova but with subtitles in white, and it is difficult the reading by the viewer. However, there are many Extras. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Ladrões de Bicicleta" ("Thieves of Bicycle")
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