Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, Vittorio De Sica’s Academy Award-winning Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette) defined an era in cinema. In postwar, poverty-stricken Rome, a man, hoping to support his desperate family with a new job, loses his bicycle, his main means of transportation for work. With his wide-eyed young son in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. Simple in construction and dazzlingly rich in human insight, Bicycle Thieves embodied all the greatest strengths of the neorealist film movement in Italy: emotional clarity, social righteousness, and brutal honesty. —The Criterion Collection
Few European film-makers combined artistic ambitions with a genuine populist spirit in the manner of Vittorio De Sica. In his prolific career, the actor-director made many films on social subjects which nonetheless engaged a mass audience. A Neapolitan by birth, De Sica came from humble roots, working as a theatre actor in the early 1920s. His stage success led De Sica to films where he proved to be a popular actor, mounting more than thirty film credits before his directorial debut with Rosa Scarlatte (which he co-directed with Giuseppe Amato). Even after his success as a director, De Sica was a much sought after performer; appearing in such classics as Max Ophüls’ Madame de… and Roberto Rossellini’s Il Generale della Rovere.
De Sica’s fourth outing as a director was his first collaboration with screenwriter and film theorist Cesare Zavattini. The Children Are Watching Us anticipated neorealism in its detached focus on a young boy’s growing isolation from his mother. De Sica… read more
If you don't like this film you're probably an asshole. Either that or you hate poor people. Or Italians. Just saying
In the end, the bicycle takes on a life of its own, prompting the poor father to reach for that very desperate act that had brought him misfortune in the first place. Vittorio De Sice's portrait of a poverty-stricken family exudes a kind of honesty that gives heart-stinging feelings to the audience.
Eis um filme marcante. Com cenas antológicas e um cuidado especial com a fotografia e a trilha sonora, nos vemos completamente envolvidos pela história de Ricci e de jovem Bruno. Como em outros títulos do neo-realismo, Vittorio de Sica demonstra toda sua capacidade em tirar de seus atores, mesmo que não profissionais, tudo aquilo que precisa deles. Um filme para emocionar e não esquecer nunca mais | Cecilia Barroso
Legendary screenwriter Suso Cecchi d'Amico has died in Rome at the age of 96. More impressive than the sheer number of screenplays she'd
Bicycle Thieves is a mix between a soulful tearjerker and a ‘slice of life’ film. At moments the relentless strife of every post-war proletariat can be seen in Antonio Ricci’s eyes. Ricci’s life crumbles… read review
It’s good to know that true artists like De Sica exist, as only a true artist would have turned down Hollywood money and Cary Grant in order to pursue his true vision for a seminal work of Italian… read review
A brilliantly portrayed image of life in postwar Italy. Antonio Ricci’s job, future, and stability rest in the spokes of his precious bicycle, which is stolen shortly into the movie. With the stealing… read review