Shoeshine

Overview

Vittorio DeSica's Shoeshine Sciuscia is a must-see example of Italian neorealist cinema, ranking with such other neorealist classics as DeSica's Bicycle Thieves 1948 and Umberto D. 1952 and Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City 1945. Using nonprofessional actors, DeSica and co-screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, also one of neorealism's leading figures, paint an uncompromising picture of the lives of Italian street children abandoned by their parents at the end of World War II. The film concentrates on two such ...
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Overview

Vittorio DeSica's Shoeshine Sciuscia is a must-see example of Italian neorealist cinema, ranking with such other neorealist classics as DeSica's Bicycle Thieves 1948 and Umberto D. 1952 and Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City 1945. Using nonprofessional actors, DeSica and co-screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, also one of neorealism's leading figures, paint an uncompromising picture of the lives of Italian street children abandoned by their parents at the end of World War II. The film concentrates on two such children, Giuseppe Rinaldo Smerdoni and Pasquale Franco Interlenghi. With no one else to turn to, the boys form a solid friendship, as well as a "corporation" of sorts: they eke out a living shining the boots of American GIs. The boys' hope for a rosier future is manifested in their dreams of owning a beautiful white horse. This, along with all their other aspirations, is eradicated when the boys are inadvertently shipped off to a reformatory. A failure in Italy director DeSica noted that postwar Italian audiences preferred the glossy escapism emanating from Hollywood, Shoeshine was a huge success worldwide, as well as the winner of a special Academy Awards. Like Bicycle Thieves, it combines DeSica's frequent focus on children with his emphasis on post-war social problems.
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Special Features

Audio commentary with author Bert Cardullo; Trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Co-written by leading Italian neo-realist screenwriter and theorist Cesare Zavattini, Vittorio De Sica's Sciuscià (1946) examines the impact of post-Fascist social decay on poverty-stricken children. Bookended by images of a horse that symbolizes Giuseppe's and Pasquale's dreams of innocent fun, Sciuscià captures the hope and despair of the pair's friendship, as they get caught up in a black market scheme and wind up in separate cells in a "reform school" run by corrupt officers. The dankly claustrophobic jail cells contrast sharply with the difficult but unfettered life that the boys lived on the streets; even a movie night provides little relief from their jailhouse existence. Shot on location with non-professional actors, including Rinaldo Smerdoni and Franco Interlenghi as the tragic friends, Sciuscià exemplified the neo-realist principle of eschewing Hollywood gloss to portray the brutal realities of contemporary life among the postwar Italian poor, and the film ends on a moment of utter bleakness. Though Sciuscià failed in Italy, it became an international success, like Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City (1945) before it, bolstering neo-realism's worldwide prominence. Nominated for a screenplay Oscar after winning critics' prizes, Sciuscià also won a special Oscar for "superlative quality made under adverse circumstances;" the first special Oscar for "most outstanding foreign film" was awarded two years later, to de Sica's and Zavattini's Bicycle Thieves.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/17/2011
  • UPC: 741952691792
  • Original Release: 1947
  • Source: Ent. One Music
  • Presentation: Subtitled / B&W
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 51,489

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pacifico Astrologo Vittorio
Franco Interlenghi Pasquale
Antonio Carlino L'Abruzzese
Bruno Ortensi Arcangeli
Aniello Mele Raffaele
Emilio Cigoli Staffera
Angelo D'Amico Siciliano
Francesco de Nicola Ciriola
Enrico de Silva Giorgio
Antonio Lo Nigro Righetoo
Gino Saltamerenda Il panza
Rinaldo Smerdoni Giuseppe
Technical Credits
Vittorio De Sica Director, Screenwriter
Anchise Brizzi Cinematographer
Ivo Battelli Production Designer
Alessandro Cicognini Score Composer
Sergio Amidei Screenwriter
Adolfo Franci Screenwriter
Cesare Giulio Viola Screenwriter
Cesare Zavattini Screenwriter
Nicolo Lazzari Editor
Paolo William Tamburella Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Shoeshine
1. Bersagliere [4:20]
2. Pasquale [3:46]
3. Blankets [7:06]
4. Detention [8:48]
5. The Director [3:02]
6. Adjustment [5:22]
7. Separated [6:52]
8. Packages [4:49]
9. The Belt [7:14]
10. A Spy [4:00]
11. The File [7:04]
12. Fight [5:27]
13. The Trial [6:16]
14. Sentencing [3:13]
15. Cinema [6:44]
16. Closure [6:28]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Shoeshine
   Play
   Scenes
   Setup
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
   Extras
      Trailer
      Audio Commentary With Author Bert Cardullo: On
      Audio Commentary With Author Bert Cardullo: Off
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