The Bicycle Thieves

Movie Information

In Brief: It helps to understand the realities of life in post-War Italy to understand the birth of Italian Neo-Realism — something born as much from economic necessity as an artistic movement. Films like Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thieves (1948) were partly made simply because they were possible in a country where money was scarce and studios destroyed by the war. Still, it very much became its own artistic form in the way it completely broke with the tradition of studio films. Neo-Realist works are mostly made on location with rudimentary lighting and often (as in this case) with non-actors. The idea was to break with the artifice of the studio. What it did was show the world a kind of film that was quite different from the norm. Similarly, the plots tended to be realistic, gritty and simple. And what could be simpler than The Bicycle Thieves, with its story of a man searching for the stolen bicycle he needs in order to keep his job? Seemingly nothing, but the film boasts six credited writers in addition to De Sica. Usually this kind of committee approach is disastrous, but, in a film where a thin plot is used as a guiding principle for a series of events, it can prove — here at least — workable. This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke published on Nov. 17, 2015.  
Genre: Drama
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Starring: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enza Staiola, Lianella Carell, Gino Saltamerenda
Rated: NR

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present The Bicycle Thieves Friday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. at Flood Gallery Fine Art Center, 2160 Hwy 70, Swannanoa.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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