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’s… read more
Sleeping over it, the boy is the most interesting character of the Film. While the father centers all film emotions around his eyes, his face, gestures and way of walking, the boys thoughts remain partly a mystery, which, recursively, draws a new light on the film ending, when it's not about the bike anymore, but about their relationship.
it's been years that I didn't see such a good film. i just love it, the expressionist music and the melodramatic elements keep up a tension that won't, at any moment, interfere with the capturing of this city. bells, pumps and wheels, thrown together in a great testimonial of the film camera. then, seeing and being sure of what one sees.
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
On top of his many accomplishments, Satyajit Ray was also a graphic designer who designed many of his own film posters.
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
The Bicycle Thieves is considered to be Vittorio De Sica’s magnum opus, which alone deserves some merit, judging how his other films, like Shoeshine and Umberto D., are just as good. The Bicycle Thieves… read review