The Bicycle Thief

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The Bicycle Thief

Post by Bruce R on Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:51 pm

I had read many good things about the Italian 1948 Crime Drama THE BICYCLE THIEF and last night finally got around to viewing it.

This film became one of the most widely acclaimed European movies, including a special Academy Award as "most outstanding foreign film" seven years before that Oscar category existed. Written primarily by neorealist pioneer Cesare Zavattini and directed by Vittorio DeSica, also one of the movement's main forces, the movie featured all the hallmarks of the neorealist style: a simple story about the lives of ordinary people, outdoor shooting and lighting, non-actors mixed together with actors, and a focus on social problems in the aftermath of World War II. Lamberto Maggiorani plays Antonio, an unemployed man who finds a coveted job that requires a bicycle. When it is stolen on his first day of work, Antonio and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) begin a frantic search, learning valuable lessons along the way. The movie focuses on both the relationship between the father and the son and the larger framework of poverty and unemployment in postwar Italy.

Maggiorani and Staiola do an excellent job--especially the latter nine-year old.

While the film is excellent, it's also dreary.  It's set in post-war Italy (losing a war definitely has consequences) and the poverty and struggling to get by is everywhere.  The cinematography is also excellent and fully captures a devastated Italy.

Bruce R

Bruce R

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