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>
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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