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Bicycle Thieves (1948)
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Bicycle Thieves (1948)
"Ladri di biciclette" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  13 December 1949 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 82,817 users  
Reviews: 221 user | 126 critic

A man and his son search for a stolen bicycle vital for his job.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (novel), 7 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Enzo Staiola ...
Lianella Carell ...
Gino Saltamerenda ...
Vittorio Antonucci ...
The Thief
Giulio Chiari ...
Elena Altieri ...
The Charitable Lady
Carlo Jachino ...
A Beggar
Michele Sakara ...
Secretary of the Charity Organization
Emma Druetti
Fausto Guerzoni ...
Amateur Actor
Edit

Storyline

Ricci, an unemployed man in the depressed post-WWII economy of Italy, gets at last a good job - for which he needs a bike - hanging up posters. But soon his bicycle is stolen. He and his son walk the streets of Rome, looking for the bicycle. Ricci finally manages to locate the thief but with no proof, he has to abandon his cause. But he and his son know perfectly well that without a bike, Ricci won't be able to keep his job. Written by jolusoma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bicycle | job | thief | search | poster | See All (212) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bicycle Thieves  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,845 (USA) (2 October 1998)

Gross:

$332,930 (USA) (3 September 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On one of the shooting days, David Lean showed up to watch Vittorio De Sica film an outdoor sequence and was greatly impressed with how he handled the crowds in the street. See more »

Quotes

La Santona: [Addressing a young man seated before her, apparently seeking advice on his love life] You must plant your seeds in another field. Do you understand what I mean?
Young man seeking advice: No, I don't understand.
La Santona: It's simple, my boy. What good is planting seeds if the soil rejects them? You plant, but don't gather. Understand?
Young man seeking advice: I haven't understood a word.
La Santona: [Becoming impatient] She doesn't love you! Forget her!
La Santona: [Pausing for effect] Dear boy, you're very ugly. Yes, ugly. There are so many other women... Go and plow another ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #11.2 (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Simple, Powerful Film Survives
18 April 2000 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

There's not much that can be said about "The Bicycle Thief" that hasn't already been expressed. It is considered a great work of the Italian cinema, and looking at it in its 1999 release version, one can see why.

Structurally, it's a theme and variations, with such a simple, clearly stated main motif that one can identify and follow its mutations with no effort. DeSica is clearly the fine craftsman here, directing every scene with a beautiful sense of control and balance.

His work with young Enzo Staiola (as Bruno) is especially commendable, and he allows then nonprofessionals Lamberto Maggiorani (as Antonio) and Lianella Carell (as Marie) to act in a model of naturalism.

Carlo Montuori's photography is brilliant, and Antonio Traverso's production design is pungent and atmospheric. Like most "masterpieces," a film-classic score provides emotional depth in a subliminal way: here it's a romantic, Italianesque original composition by Aessandro Cicognini wraps up the entire production.

DeSica's career is most impressive, being involved in nealy 200 films, 165 of them as an actor. This film remains one of his greatest achievements. It seems to be standing the test of time very nicely, too. It's been criticized, sometimes quite severely, and just continues to bounce back, winning new admirers with each reissue. The public just won't let "The Bicycle Thief" fade away. That alone tends to override any negative factors. It looks like this film is going to be around for quite a while. ###


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