Bicycle Thief
  • Bicycle Thief
  • Bicycle Thief

Bicycle Thief

4.6 9
Director: Vittorio De Sica

Cast: Lamberto Maggiorani, Lianella Carell, Enzo Staiola


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Vittorio DeSica's Ladri di Biciclette is one of the cornerstone works of the Italian neorealist movement, and had a profound influence on both European and American filmmakers for decades after its original release in 1948, so it's no surprise that the cineastes at the Criterion Collection went out of their way to give the picture a definitive presentation inSee more details below

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Vittorio DeSica's Ladri di Biciclette is one of the cornerstone works of the Italian neorealist movement, and had a profound influence on both European and American filmmakers for decades after its original release in 1948, so it's no surprise that the cineastes at the Criterion Collection went out of their way to give the picture a definitive presentation in this two-disc DVD edition. Bicycle Thieves (as it's called in this package, rather than the less accurate but more common English translation The Bicycle Thief) has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the image looks better than it ever has before on video; while there's nothing flashy about the film's visual style, this edition certainly pulls a new wealth of detail from Carlo Montuori's cinematography, and the source materials are pristine. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and two soundtracks have been included -- the original English language version, and a dubbed English language track, both of which sound quite good for the period. Optional English subtitles are also included. The bonus disc contains a number of relevant extras, including two original documentaries -- Working With DeSica, in which screenwriter Suso Cecchi d'Amico and actor Enzo Staiola share their memories of working on the project while critic and historian Callisto Cosulich discusses his meetings with the legendary filmmaker, and Life As It Is: The Neorealist Movement In Italy, essentially an illustrated lecture from Mark Shiel on the history and impact of this vital subgenre. Also featured is a 2003 television documentary on Cesare Zavattini, who helped write Ladri di Biciclette and became a major force in Italian filmmaking as well as one of DeSica's most trusted collaborators. Along with the two discs, Criterion have also included a beautiful 78-page book with essays on the film from DeSica, Zavattini, Andre Bazin, Sergio Leone and many others. Quite simply, it's hard to image a better or more thorough presentation of Bicycle Thieves than the one Criterion has offered us with this package, and it's worthy of one of the most important and powerful motion pictures of its era.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Monica McIntyre
A classic of postwar Italian neo-realism, Vittorio De Sica's THE BICYCLE THIEF is considered one of the greatest films ever made. The story follows a desperately poor man, Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani), who, after years of crippling unemployment, lands a job pasting posters (advertising a Rita Hayworth movie) around war-ravaged Rome. When the bicycle he needs for the job is stolen, he and his son, Bruno (Enzo Staiola), venture into the rubble-strewn city, confronting chaos, extreme poverty, and moral dilemmas. Through his choice of subject matter, use of actual locations, and casting of nonprofessional actors, De Sica achieved an uncompromising visual authenticity that contrasted sharply both with many Hollywood films of the time and with Italian films made under the fascist regime. In doing so, he tapped into a rich vein of human emotion. A delicately wrought fable with a fine, ironic ending, THE BICYCLE THIEF is a spare, eloquent masterpiece.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Though not the first Italian Neo-Realist film seen outside of Italy (or even Vittorio De Sica's first Neo-Realist work), The Bicycle Thief (1948) is considered the seminal film of the movement, alongside Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City (1945). Following the guiding Neo-Realist precept of drawing stories from the daily life of post-war Italy, De Sica and writer Cesare Zavattini carefully interweave a wider view of Italian culture with a portrait of the bond between a father and son, revealing the impact of poverty and bureaucratic absurdities on one of many struggling families. Shooting on location with non-professional actors in the two leads (well-coached by actor De Sica), De Sica's mobile camera transforms moments of Antonio's odyssey into poetic images of isolation and despair, while never losing sight of the gritty hardships of quotidian experience. An even greater international sensation than his first Neo-Realist film (Shoeshine (1946)), The Bicycle Thief earned a special Oscar for Best Foreign Film and became a signature work for a movement that also included Bitter Rice (1948), Luchino Visconti's La Terra Trema (1948), and De Sica's Umberto D. (1952). Inspiring filmmakers across the world as an alternative to expensive Hollywood fantasy, The Bicycle Thief revealed the potential power of combining local concerns with an unflinching cinematic style.

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Product Details

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Special Features

Disc one: The film; New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Optional English-dubbed soundtrack; New and improved English subtitle translation; Disc two: The supplements; Working with De Sica, a collection of new interviews with screenwriter Suso Cecchi d'Amico, actor Enzo Staiola, and film scholar Callisto Cosulich; Life as It Is: The Neorealist Movement in Italy, a new program on the history of Italian neorealism, featuring scholar Mark Shiel; A 2003 documentary on screenwriter and longtime Vittorio De Sica collaborator Cesare Zavattini, directed by Carlo Lizzani; Plus: A book featuring new essays by critic Godfrey Cheshire and filmmaker Charles Burnett, remembrances by De Sica and his collaborators, and classic writings by Zavattini and critic André Bazin

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lamberto Maggiorani Antonio Ricci
Lianella Carell Maria Ricci
Enzo Staiola Bruno Ricci
Elena Altieri The Lady
Vittorio Antonucci The Thief
Gino Saltamerenda Bajocco
Michele Sakara Actor
Fausto Guerzoni Amateur Actor
Nando Bruno Actor
Memmo Carotenuto Actor
Umberto Spadaro Actor

Technical Credits
Vittorio De Sica Director,Producer,Screenwriter
O. Biancoli Screenwriter
Alessandro Cicognini Score Composer
Suso Cecchi D'Amico Screenwriter
Adolfo Franci Screenwriter
Carlo Montuori Cinematographer
Eraldo Da Roma Editor
Antonio Traverso Art Director
Cesare Zavattini Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Bicycle Thieves: A Film By Vittorio De Sica
1. A Job for Ricci [5:16]
2. Wedding Linens [5:36]
3. The Fortune-Teller [3:23]
4. Preparations [3:34]
5. Disaster on the Job [4:09]
6. No Help From the Police [3:37]
7. Advice From a Friend [4:30]
8. "A Lighweight Fides, 1935 Model" [4:58]
9. "We're All Honest In Piazza Vittorio!" [3:41]
10. Rain on Sunday [4:04]
11. A Sighting [3:29]
12. A Plea in Church [8:02]
13. An Outburst and a Scare [1:21]
14. Eating Like Kings [2:23]
15. Right Away or Never [6:21]
16. Confrontation [4:33]
17. Nothing to Hide [6:19]
18. A Desparate Act [4:29]
19. Father and Son [5:47]
1. Color Bars [3:27]

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