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.
Vittorio De Sica
Umberto Ferrari, aged government-pensioner, attends a street demonstration held by his fellow pensioners. The police dispense the crowd and Umberto returns to his cheap furnished room which he shares with his dog Flick. Umberto's lone friend is Maria, servant of the boarding house. She is a simple girl who is pregnant by one of two soldiers and neither will admit to being the father. When Umberto's landlady Antonia demands the rent owed her and threatens eviction if she is not paid, Umberto tries desperately to raise the money by selling his books and watch. He is too proud to beg in the streets and can not get a loan from any of his acquaintances. He contracts a sore throat, is admitted to a hospital and this puts a delay on his financial difficulty. Discharged, he finds that his dog is gone and, following a frantic search, locates him in the city dog pound. His room has been taken over by the landlady and the now-homeless Unberto determines to find a place for his beloved dog, and ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ranked number 85 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. See more »
In the kitchen of the landlady, when Umberto is chatting with the maid, she makes fire with a newspaper to get rid of the ants. After a few moments, we see that the newspaper is almost completely on fire, but in the next shot, less than half of the newspaper is on fire. See more »
Umberto Domenico Ferrari:
Who can live on 18,000 lire these days? My landlady charges me 10,000. She even raised my rent, that old -...
Go ahead and say it. We're both men. If she's a bitch, she's a bitch.
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Enough has been said about this wonderful movie already and I'm not going to repeat what others have written at length except to say that I've just come to this film totally unprepared and now feel emotionally shattered. I've watched it as the 44th movie in a collection of 50 so-called art-house films in a DVD collection from Criterion. These allegedly "essential" movies are presented alphabetically and that is how I've viewed them, so it's taken me quite some time to get to the letter U. If I'd started with this De Sica classic I may have felt disinclined to watch any of the others!
Indeed, in a lifetime of over 50 years of watching movies - everything from the truly execrable to the totally inspirational - this is the first and only film I've ever sought to review on this site. I know there are a few detractors out there on the message-boards who cannot see beyond their own cynicism, but I pity them. This movie remains timeless, as potent as when it was made in 1952. You don't have to be old, you don't have to be a dog-lover (although it helps), and you certainly don't have to be a fan of neo-realist Italian cinema. All you have to be is a good human being. Watching this movie is a sort of 'humanity test' and thankfully most of the reviewers here have passed it.
I'm sorry, "Cinema Paradiso", you've just been relegated to Second Best Foreign Film.
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