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Bicycle Thieves (1948)
The Prize Picture They Want to Censor!
Director: Vittorio De Sica

Unemployed Antonio is elated when he finally finds work hanging posters around war-torn Rome. However on his first day, his bicycle—essential to his work—gets stolen. His job is doomed unless he can find the thief. With the help of his son, Antonio combs the city, becoming desperate for justice.

Bicycle Thieves (1948)


This is a film about a child, one who is both IN the film and watches it.

Hard as it is to imagine today, the world of film was had ideas on the surface, and lively controversies. Men took risks and sometimes survived.

Here is an experiment in urban photography, naturalistic acting (rather, naturalism) and investment in a narrative based on unromantic caprice. It is on many “best of” lists. But as with many projects (“On Golden Pond” comes to mind) the IDEA of the film is far superior to the film itself. This film is mawkishly sentimental while advertising that it isn’t. It is crisply crafted while claiming otherwise. It is highly stylised — especially the confrontations — where it claims truth.

This idea has long ago been replaced by others more vital. As a result, the more you see this, the more tired it seems. Except. Except for a couple shots of the kid, like when he is interrupted when peeing.

Posted in 2003

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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