Archive for January 4th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(Italy 1948 90m) DVD1/2

Aka. Ladri di Biciclette/The Bicycle Thief

My kingdom for a bike!

p  Umberto Scarparelli  d  Vittorio de Sica  w  Cesare Zavattini, Oreste Biancoli, Vittorio de Sica, Adolfo Franci, Gherardo Gherardi, Gerardo Guerreri, Suso Cecchi d’Amico  story  Cesare Zavattini  novel  Luigi Bartolini  ph  Carlo Montuori  ed  Eraldo de Roma  m  Alessandro Cicognini  art  Antonio Traverso

Lamberto Maggiorani (Antonio Ricci), Enzo Staiola (Bruno Ricci), Lianella Carell (Maria Ricci), Gino Saltamarenda (Bajocco), Elena Altieri (the lady), Vittorio Antonucci (the thief), Fausto Guerzani (amateur actor),

Okay, it might not be Shakespeare, but it’s no less powerful for it.  De Sica’s seminal neo-realist film is probably the most universally praised Italian film ever made, a spare, simple, but devastating odyssey into one man’s misfortune that cannot help but both move and haunt the viewer long after the credits roll. 

            Antonio Ricci has been out of work for some time.  So long that he has had to start selling his goods off to pawn shops so he and his young wife and child can eat.  However, he doesn’t realise when he pawns his bike that he would need it a few days later, when he is offered a council job as bill poster.  With a family allowance and overtime it seems his dream has come true.  He sells the family linen to buy his bike back but, on the very first day of the job, his conveyance is stolen by an opportunistic thief.  Failing to capture him, he reports the theft to the police, who couldn’t care less.  Reluctantly, he sets off with his small son to look for it, but unable to find it he is eventually driven to contemplate stealing another bike. (more…)

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