Bicycle Thieves or Ladri de biciclette (1948) is an Italian Neorealism film directed by Vittorio De Sica. A film of Magnum Opus proportion.
Italian Neorealism (Italian: Neorealismo) is a national film movement characterized by stories set amongst the poor and the working class […] mostly contend with the difficult economic and moral conditions of Italian post–WWII.
“It’s a story of an everyday man. His despairs populate the script and struggles entertain the audience.”
The more you write about it, the more it seems to be lesser, not in density but in charm of words which fails to suffice the magnificence of the film. De Sica’s generous vision of working out with non-professional actors in creating a realist and heart-wrenching story is amazing.
Poverty and crime, the most lauded about subjects in literature seem a mere story when the real events turn out of a just life of people living in the shadow of Post-WWII Italy.
One may find flaws in the actors, however, you must not forget that the casts are all actually Non-professionals. Said that, it’d be naive to assume, Lamberto Maggiorani (Antonio Ricci) and Enzo Staiola (Bruno Ricci) lack passion in delivering their characters. The characters which will be remembered till the end of time.
(Bicycle Thieves through Screenshots)
Beginning: Antonio Ricci, a jobless father and husband, is offered a job of sticking film-posters on street walls, in a condition that he bring along a bicycle.
Antonio cannot produce a bicycle by himself. He asks his wife for financial hep.
In hope of better future, she decides to sell the bed sheets she bought along in her marriage.
Antonio manages to buy a bicycle. Both husband and wife look pleased.
Bruno Ricci, Antonio’s plucky young son, inspects the bicycle. He best puts his accent and mafioso swagger. Enzo looks less like a child and more like a midget, in the film.
The First day of Job: Antonio learns the trade. The same day, a young lad steals his bicycle.
Antonio looks at his young kid waiting for him on the street, in hope that the kid’ll ride back home in his father’s new bicycle.
ntonio, along with his friends, decide to recover the bicycle from stolen-goods market
As the search turns out in despair, Antonio becomes restless and cranky. He hits Bruno.
Bruno Antonio’s son cleaning the bicycle
Antonio nabs the young lad who stole his bike and apprehend him in public, however, the whole event creates a fuss, inviting public attendants to intervene
In lack of evidences and witnesses offered by Antonio, the young lad is set free and unharmed.
Both father and son seem contemplating.
Lost and in despair, he decides to steal a bicycle from the street.
He’s briefly chased and is nabbed by some men
Antonio faces public humiliation and dismay. The fact that his own son witnessed the whole incident creates an awkward situation.
Antonio, along with his son, is seen walking towards the uncertain future [End Credit rolls]
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Directed by Vittorio De Sica, Written by Luigi Bartolini, Produced by PDS Produzioni De Sica, Stephen Tenenbaum and Edward Walson, Starring: Lamberto Maggiorni, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell and others