BICYCLE THIEVES (LADRI DI BICICLETTE) (1948) B/W 90m dir: Vittorio De Sica

w/Lamberto Maggiorani, Lianella Carell, Enzo Staiola, Elena Altieri, Vittorio Antonucci, Gino Saltamerenda, Fausto Guerzoni

From The Movie Guide: "A landmark film --- honest, beautiful, and deceptively simple. Reviewers praised BICYCLE THIEVES unanimously upon its first release, which marked one of the finest achievements of Italian neorealism.

"Maggiorani is is a poor, working-class Italian whose happiness at finding a job gives way to despair when his bicycle --- on which his employment depends --- is stolen. His search for the bike takes on an epic quality, with Staiola turning in an impossibly heart-wrenching performance as Maggiorani's young son. THE BICYCLE THIEF is a brilliant testament to director Vittorio De Sica's greatness and to the power of neorealism. All roles were played by nonactors, the dialogue is as spare as it can be in a talking picture, and the coarse black-and-white photography makes viewers feel as if they were watching a documentary, though without sacrificing drama.

"Cesare Zavattini received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay, and the film received a Special Academy Award as the 'most outstanding' foreign film of the year. The film was deftly and affectionately sent up by Mauricio Nichetti in his 1989 feature, THE ICICLE THIEF."