The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Directed by Vittorio De Sica
Screenplay by Cesare Zavattini & Suso D'Amico & Vittorio De Sica & Oreste Biancoli & Adolfo Franci & Gerardo Guerrieri
Based on the novel by Luigi Bartolini
Currently #87 of the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb (as of this posting)
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Gino Saltamerenda and Vittorio Antonucci
This movie is probably on everybody's top films list of all time. I have heard about it over the past couple of years. Trying to expand my film knowledge, I'm trying to get into classic foreign language films like The Bicycle Thief. The movies sole Oscar nomination was for Best Screenplay. It honored a special with a special award in 1950. With all the praise it has been getting, I came away with it underwhelmed.
Taking placed in post WWII Italy, Antonio Ricci (Maggiorani), a desperate father that is trying to support his wife, Maria (Carell) and young son, Bruno (Staiola). Antonio has a promising job prospect to put up posters around Rome, but he is required to have bicycle in order to perform his new job. Maria has to hock sheets that were part of her dowry to pay for the bicycle. Antonio feels like he could finally be the provider for his family.
On his first day of the job, he was putting up poster of Rita Hayworth when a thief (Antonucci) steals his bike and disappears in the crowded square. Antonio goes to the police to file a report, which is pointless that they cannot help. Antonio takes Bruno on his mission to locate the bicycle.
I know by the title of the movie that the movie was going to about finding the thief in the title. I didn't know it was going to take that whole movie to do that. It seems like a "duh" moment, but when a movie is one note, it can be boring.
People could completely empathize with Antonio's predicament. A down on his luck father that would be anything to support his family. People get that. To me, the movie was too depressing to enjoy it. Besides, Netflix spoiled in the ending of the movie in its description. Maybe that has a sour taste in my mouth. The movie is fine. I guess, I am not into neorealism movies.