Bicycle Thieves 1948 Criterion Collection
After two years of unemployment, Antonio, a laborer, finally secures a job putting up movie posters around Rome. In order to travel from location to location, he has to have a bicycle, which he gets out of hock by pawning the family's linens. But on his first day of work, the bicycle is stolen. With his son in tow, he explores working-class Rome in search of the thief, who always seems a few steps ahead of him. As his search leads him to a union hall, a fortune teller's and a whorehouse, he grows more desperate until he sees a theft of his own as the only way of saving his family. As his odyssey through working-class Rome grows in stature, Antonio becomes a powerful metaphor for the plight of humanity caught in a hostile universe.

It's a heartbreaking, endlessly affecting piece of humanist cinema, sharp in its social criticism, yet ultimately life-enhancing in its belief in the decency of ordinary people.

It is one of those very rare films that, once seen, can never be forgotten.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Cast: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Country: Italy
Genre: Drama

BD50 + 2xDVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:29:27 | 44 Gb + 13.4 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Italiano, English
Subtitles: English

Extras:

Working with De Sica - in this documentary feature, screenwriter Suso Cecchi d'Amico discusses her professional relationship with Vittorio De Sica and the production of Bicycle Thieves, film scholar Callisto Cosulich discusses the genesis of the film and the socioeconomic environment in which it emerged, and actor Enzo Staiola recalls how he was cast to play the young Bruno Ricci and talks about his interactions with the director. The interviews were conducted in 2005. In Italian, with optional English subtitles (23 min).

Life as it is: The Neorealist Movement in Italy - in this video program, film scholar Mark Shiel, author of Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City, discusses the cultural and political environment in Italy before and after the war, the key themes and films that defined the neorealist movement, the reception of the neorealist films at home and abroad, their influence, etc. In English, not subtitled. (40 min).

Cesare Zavatini - this documentary film takes a closer look at the life and legacy of the great Italian screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. Included in it a clips from archival interviews with Bernardo Bertolucci (The Conformist), screenwriter Tonino Guerra (L'Eclisse, La Notte), actor Roberto Benigni (Down by Law), and director Marco Bellocchio (Vincere), amongst others. The documentary was directed by Carlo Lizzani. In Italian, with optional English subtitles. (56 min).

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