Bicycle Thieves

Fri 12th May – 19:30 Terry O’Toole Theatre
Italy 1948
Dir: Vittorio de Sica
Cert U
89 mins
Starring: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola

Considered by many critics to be one of the most influential films of the 20th century, “Bicycle Thieves” is an outstanding example of post-War Italian Neo-Realist cinema. The film follows Antonio, an unemployed man desperately seeking work, who finally finds a job pasting advertisements, only to have his bicycle stolen. As his bike is a necessity for the job Antonio must quickly get it back and begins a thorough search of the neighbourhood for the thief, glimpsed briefly at the moment of the theft. In this he is accompanied and aided by his small son Bruno. The search for the elusive thief and the stolen bike leads them into ever more precarious and possibly dangerous situations. Using non-actors for his slice of life drama, Vittorio de Sica touchingly highlights the plight of the “little man” (famously beloved of Charlie Chaplin, de Sica’s favourite director), isolated and adrift in the chaos of post-War Italy.

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