Monday, March 03, 2008

The Bicycle Thief

Ladri di biciclette (1948) AKA Bicycle Thieves, is a wonderful and depressing look at post-War Italy. A family so poor that the sheets must be hocked to get the bicycle back -- which was pawned to buy food. And then on the first day of the job that bicycle was required to do, the bicycle is stolen. The rest of the film is the futile and exhausting efforts of father and son to find and reclaim the bicycle. Neo-Realism is powerful, but oh, so sad. Vittorio De Sica deserved the special Oscar awarded him the year after he refused to allow censors to cut his masterpiece.

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