EXPERIENCE ESSENTIAL CINEMA
Vittorio De Sica’s beloved masterpiece is perhaps the most famous of Italian films and the definitive work of Italian neorealism. It’s been called “surely the most universally praised movie produced anywhere on planet earth during the first decade after WWII” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice). Antonio, a long-unemployed worker, lands a much-needed job as a municipal bill poster, only to have the bicycle he requires for the position abruptly stolen. He sets out with young son Bruno to look for the missing bike. Their desperate search through the poverty-stricken streets of Rome becomes a modern-day Odyssey in which the best and worst aspects of human nature are revealed. The script is by frequent De Sica collaborator Cesare Zavattini (Shoeshine, Umberto D), the neorealism movement’s founder and chief theorist. The film was shot on location using non-professional performers; the protagonist is marvellously played by a factory worker carefully coached by De Sica. (The director had earlier declined an offer from David O. Selznick to finance the production if Cary Grant were to be cast be in lead!) Bicycle Thieves was a huge international success; its honours included a special 1949 Oscar as "Most Outstanding Foreign Film.” “Simple, powerful ... So well entrenched as an official masterpiece that it is a little startling to visit it again after many years and realize that it is still alive and has strength and freshness” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times). B&W, 35mm, in Italian with English subtitles. 93 mins.
"Bicycle Thieves is so well-entrenched as an official masterpiece that it is a little startling to visit it again after many years and realize that it is still alive and has strength and freshness."Chicago Sun-Times | full review
"This film manages to appeal to the better angels of our nature in a way that only deepens as we grow older along with the film."Los Angeles Times | full review
"De Sica has artfully created a film that will tear your heart, but which should fill you with warmth and compassion. People should see it—and they should care."New York Times | full review