Umberto D.

( 3 )

Overview

Vittorio De Sica's 1952 Italian neorealist classic Umberto D. comes to DVD as part of the Criterion Collection. Presented in the original black-and-white with a high-definition full-frame transfer made from restored elements. Italian soundtrack is offered in Dolby Digital Mono 1.0 with improved English subtitle translation. Special features start off with the hour-long documentary made for Italian TV in 2001 entitled That's Life: Vittorio De Sica, a retrospective of the director's career featuring ...
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Overview

Vittorio De Sica's 1952 Italian neorealist classic Umberto D. comes to DVD as part of the Criterion Collection. Presented in the original black-and-white with a high-definition full-frame transfer made from restored elements. Italian soundtrack is offered in Dolby Digital Mono 1.0 with improved English subtitle translation. Special features start off with the hour-long documentary made for Italian TV in 2001 entitled That's Life: Vittorio De Sica, a retrospective of the director's career featuring behind-the-scenes footage from many of his films. Other special features include an interview with actress Maria Pia Casilio, essay by critic Stuart Klawans, and a reprinted recollection on the film by De Sica. Also contains various writings by De Sica, Umberto Eco, Carlo Battisti, and Luisa Alessandri.
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Special Features

New high-definition digital transfer, made from restored elements; That's Life: Vittorio De Sica, a 55-minute documentary made for Italian television in 2001; New video interview with actress Maria Pia Casilio; New essay by critic Stuart Klawans and reprinted recollections on the film by De Sica; Writings on Umberto D. by Umberto Eco, Luisa Alessandri, and Carlo Battisti; New and improved English subtitle translation; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
Chronicling a few days in the life of a retired civil servant, director Vittorio De Sica's enduring Umberto D. is limitlessly moving as it patiently follows its solitary protagonist. Starting with a crowd of elderly bureaucrats lobbying in the streets for a raise, the film pulls back to focus on one, Umberto nonactor Carlo Battisti, who is relegated to a friendless, familyless life of trying to make ends meet. Umberto's only companion is his pooch, Flike, a loyal terrier who becomes the hinge on which his unraveling master's life-and-death decisions swing. De Sica and his screenwriter, Cesare Zavattini, had always entertained the provocative idea of filming 24 hours in the life of a man to whom nothing happens -- nothing huge, that is. Umberto's case is a matter of the smallest, simplest things -- foraging for food, paying rent, coping with illness and loneliness -- that combine to pack a devastating emotional wallop. One look at the unbelievably powerful scene in which the old man treats his sore throat -- in calmly ticking real time -- seals the film's status as a classic of Italian neo-realism. Pulling none of its punches, Umberto D. indeed remains the masterpiece to beat in portraying aging and its discontents.
All Movie Guide
A masterpiece of Italian neorealism, Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D. would also prove to be the last great film from the movement. This poignant story about a poor retiree facing eviction dutifully follows the neorealist template, with its plotless narrative, location shooting, and nonprofessional actors. Not unlike the movement's other exemplars, Umberto D. doesn't entirely sidestep sentimentality. Indeed, any movie about an old man and his faithful -- and amazingly well-trained -- dog is bound to come across as cute or cloying at certain points. Nonetheless, the purity of expression is undeniable. De Sica captures the vicissitudes of a difficult life with unblinking earnestness and affectless nobility. His moral outrage tempered by his eloquent style, De Sica laces this social tract with a touch of tenderness; it's a graceful movie about callousness and despair. It's a film of unexpected beauties as well. One scene in particular stands out, a seemingly extraneous bit about the landlady's maid rising for the day and doing her early morning chores. Neither advancing the movie's plot nor its political agenda, this sublime scene comes closest to approximating the stated neorealist dictum of capturing dailiness unvarnished. Apparently, the dailiness was too much for some: despite winning international praise, De Sica's portrait of an indifferent society was savaged by some politicians for presenting a negative view of Italy to the world.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/22/2003
  • UPC: 037429176122
  • Original Release: 1952
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: Italiano
  • Time: 1:29:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 30,121

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Carlo Battisti Umberto Domenico Ferrari
Maria Pia Casilio Maria
Lina Gennari Landlady
Ileana Simova Surprised Woman
Elena Rea Sister
Memmo Carotenuto Voice Only
Alberto Albani Barbieri Fiance
Lamberto Maggiorani
Technical Credits
Vittorio De Sica Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Giuseppe Amato Producer
Alessandro Cicognini Score Composer
Aldo Graziati Cinematographer
Virgilio Marchi Production Designer
Nino Misiano Production Manager
Eraldo Da Roma Editor
Cesare Zavattini Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits/Demonstration [3:58]
2. Umberto Domenico Ferrari [5:53]
3. Maria the Maid [5:15]
4. Threat of Eviction [5:15]
5. "All or Nothing" [5:57]
6. No Sleep [5:23]
7. Morning Routine [8:27]
8. The Hospital [7:29]
9. The Search for Flike [9:43]
10. An Old Friend [6:47]
11. Desperation [2:02]
12. "I'm Tired" [4:50]
13. Leaving [5:28]
14. Change of Plans [3:22]
15. Umberto & Flike [8:38]
1. First Roles, First Films [5:06]
2. Collaborator Cesare Zavattini [3:18]
3. Neorealism [4:22]
4. Miracle in Milan & Umberto D. [5:15]
5. Actors vs. Characters [5:55]
6. Il Generale Della Rovere [3:30]
7. La Ciociaria [4:36]
8. Success With Sophia Loren [3:56]
9. Crisis in Cinema [6:13]
10. Victorious [12:16]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Color Bars
   That's Life: Vittorio De Sica
      Play
      Index
   Maria Pia Casilio Interview
      Play
   On Umberto D.
      Umberto Eco
      Luisa Alessandri
      Carlo Battisti
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Baby Boomers Primer...

    A good and sensitive presentation of the world of an elderly man and the "world" that he lives in, how he is treated and how he treats it. While 60 years separate the film from today it causes a Boomer to wonder..."what will my world be like in twenty-five years"?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews