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Bicycle Thieves


Price: CDN$ 42.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Gino Saltamerenda, Vittorio Antonucci
  • Directors: Vittorio De Sica
  • Writers: Vittorio De Sica, Adolfo Franci, Cesare Zavattini, Gerardo Guerrieri, Luigi Bartolini
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Feb. 13 2007
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRNGO0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,799 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ⚫ RIZZO ⚫ on June 4 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Imagine your family's livelihood depending on a bicycle. In post-war Italy, you compete with hundreds for a job where 25% of the work force is unemployed. The job is yours but it requires you to have a bicycle, something so simple as a bicycle and that bicycle gets stolen on the first day.
Neorealism - This wonderful Italian 1948 classic directed by Vittorio de Sica is an emotional depiction of degradation of the soul, loss of humanity and dignity. The film, one of the best in cinematic history, captures neorealism at its best.
Neorealism involves the use of location settings, non-actor roles, and conversational dialogue instead of literary dialogue, simple camerawork and editing. Neorealism offers a compassionate point of view with morality.
Here, we wish an innocent man with a family to support could find relief, satisfaction, comfort and justice. As for literary dialogue, there isn't anything great said here, it is simple conversation. No great special effects takes place, no shoot-um up bang bang, just plain old post-war Italy depicting real life, poverty, degradation and humanity. The VHS 50 year-old film is gritty and at times it is difficult to read the words.
Desperate - Antonio, a father and husband lands a job and on the first day posting movie billboard posters, the bicycle is stolen! Antonio frantically scours the streets and his little son Bruno tenderly tags along to recover the stolen bicycle. Now keep in mind that little Bruno is in the picture for one reason, and without him, we, the audience, would have a more callous attitude to the ending.
We see signs of post-war economic hard times, like the rows and rows of bicycle parts or hundreds of bedsheets that were pawned. The characters are non-actors in the real streets of Italy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 29 2012
Format: DVD
The Bicycle Thief / Bicycle Thieves (1949)
Drama, Crime, 93 minutes, Italian Language
Directed by Vittorio De Sica
Starring Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola and Lianella Carell

This film shouldn't work. The story is so simple and the actors aren't professionals. But I kept hearing about the film and gave it a try when I found a copy at my local library. That proved to be one of my better decisions.

The story is set in post-war Rome. Jobs are scarce and people queue desperately each day for the chance to earn enough money to feed their families. Antonio Ricci (Maggiorani) accepts a job one morning, but one of the requirements is a bicycle. Although his has been pawned, he lies and says that he has one. His wife helps him pawn other items and he manages to get the bicycle back. That doesn't sound like much of an event, but it's a triumphant moment in the film.

Antonio is so happy to have the job hanging posters and the joy and relief is evident on his face. We feel happy for him. The problem is, someone steals his bicycle. By this point, we are fully invested in the story and the loss feels personal. We realize how important the bicycle is to his survival. The police don't seem interested so Antonio searches the streets with his son.

The film is ranked No. 85 in IMDBs Top 250 at the time or writing and not one of the films above it has fewer votes. It's a shame that it hasn't been seen by more people. I understand that it's over 60 years old, in black and white, and that the language is Italian, but the story is so pure that it's worth seeing. Let's hope for a Criterion Blu-ray release in the near future.
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By carla gould on Jan. 30 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed the movie,and the history within it. There was a tiny bit of skipping on the DVD. I love the story..
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By Wolfgang Doebel on Aug. 9 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A memorable classic on the misery of the poor, powerless and helpless, caught in a quagmire of despair, without having any real chance for escape. A heart wrenching work of art in black and white. Good acting, special noticeable performance by young boy. The script is perhaps a bit too predictable, the story may not have enough substance to carry the film for the full length. Some light in this darkness would have been a nice touch.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Dolnack on April 12 2004
Format: DVD
The Bicycle Thief: a very simple, straightforward story, told straight, no plot-twists or fancy story tricks like false endings, etc. This is a simple story: a man who's work requires him to use his own bicycle or lose his job has his bike stolen from him. The rest of the movie is his and his son's attempt to find the thief and get the bike back.
I understand the plot, but I find it just a little hard to imagine life being so harsh as to put a man out of work for having his bike stolen. I'm not saying it's unrealistic; I didn't live in Italy after WWII. But I found it a tad extreme to be honest. It's a great movie, but I don't think it hits its point home as sharply as Rossellini's "Rome Open City".
The DVD is ok - I agree with some reviewers that it could (and indeed should) be transferred at a higher bit-rate with less compression. This film truly derserves the Criterion Treatment if any Italian classic does! It is a better transfer than "Open City", but that's not an excuse. I agree it's time for a quality restoration with more extras and a nice commentary track.
But overall, this is a wonderful classic film full of heart and is a fine product worthy of inclusion in any tasteful home movie collection.
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