Set during Italy’s postwar economic boom, an elderly man living alone with his dog is determined to maintain his self-respect whilst suffering through poverty. A solemn entry part of the Italian neorealist genre.
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I'm still unsold on Italian neorealism, which today looks like a strange mixture of unforced finesse and pushy melodramatics. The greatest wonders in Umberto D. are things that in other films could seem incidental: the little moments, the routines, the backdrop (a look at those left behind by the economic miracle). As for the adorable dog, if you need it there to care, there's less hope than De Sica thought.
One of the greatest.Heartbreaking story of despair,made more powerful because it is simply told.Most moving and powerful were the small gestures,such as trying to keep his dignity while considering begging.
And then ---the final few minutes.
De Sica uses the cinematic language to give a voice to those who can't and/or won't speak. A fine film. The scene where he's contemplating whether or not he should beg is very well done. Wasn't exactly sure what he was doing first.
The 2nd film of De Sica's I have viewed (Bicycle Thieves being the first), and I was extremely impressed. I don't think I've ever felt so much sympathy or empathy for a character in a film before. The film really makes you feel the malaise and anguish its depicting. It is both heartbreaking and uplifting. I may even prefer it to Bicycle Thieves (and that is a seriously bold statement seeing as I love Bicycle Thieves)
While most historians point to BICYCLE THIEVES as the pinnacle of Italian Neorealism, I have always preferred De Sica's UMBERTO D. A heartbreaking tale of a retired pensioner and his beloved dog, Flike. Unable to make the rent, he is forced to make difficult choices or face losing both his home and his dog. A stinging portrait of poverty, UMBERTO D. could arguably be called the saddest film of all time.
In my opinion the best scene doesn't even involve Umberto - the sequence with Maria as she gets up one morning and heads into the kitchen and begins her morning routine, a tear rolls down her cheek as she remembers she's pregnant and the uncertainty it brings. Fantastic filmmaking, especially the shot looking in at her from the window.
Ce luptă interioară exista oare înlăuntrul bătrânului, ajuns la bătrâneţe, lipsit de puteri, absolut singur, trăind dintr-o pensie din care abia îşi plătea chiria, pus în situaţia de a cerşi? Cu câtă sfială întindea mâna, şi când, în sfârşit, cineva se oferise să-i arunce o bancnotă, şi-a întors-o, prefăcându-se că până în clipa aceea îşi observa mâna. Lupta dintre nevoie şi demnitate. Câinele, magic, merita oscarul.
Poverty is not merely a function of an individual's material well being. Deprivation, and it's ability to destroy a person's ability to exist as respectable human being can take many forms. In Umberto D. De Sica shows poverty through bare social realism, the constraints of social privilege, and difficulty to continue a meaningful life. Rich introspection, both for the characters and viewers, in ample throughout.