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Bicycle Thief [DVD] [2001] [US Import]

Lamberto Maggiorani , Enzo Staiola , Vittorio De Sica    DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
Price: £16.33 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Bicycle Thief [DVD] [2001] [US Import] + La Strada [DVD] [1954]
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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, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Nov 1998
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305081034
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,035 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Vittorio De Sica's remarkable 1947 drama of desperation and survival in Italy's devastating post-war depression earned a special Oscar for its affecting power. Shot in the streets and alleys of Rome, De Sica uses a real-life environment to frame his moving drama of a desperate father whose new job delivering cinema posters is threatened when a street thief steals his bicycle. Too poor to buy another, he and his son take to the streets in an impossible search for his bike. Cast with non-professional actors and filled with the real street life of Rome, this landmark film helped define the Italian neorealist approach with its mix of real life details, poetic imagery, and warm sentimentality. De Sica uses the wandering pair to witness the lives of everyday folks, but ultimately he paints a quiet, poignant portrait of father and son, played by Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiola, whose understated performances carry the heart of the film. De Sica and scenarist Cesare Zavattini also collaborated on Shoeshine, Miracle in Milan, and Umberto D, all classics in the neorealist vein, but none of which approach the simple poetry and quiet power achieved in The Bicycle Thieves. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning blu-ray 19 July 2013
This is a review of the Arrow blu-ray, rather than the film itself, which is a well-established classic that often appears in critics' best film lists. Previous DVD renditions were poor quality and I assumed this was because of the poor state of the original source material. The Arrow BD is a revelation, incredibly sharp with excellent contrasts, beautifully restored and showing no obvious sign of digital interference. It's one of the best high definition presentations of an old black and white film I've seen and it's really great to be able to watch this wonderful film in such a pristine state.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "No bike, no job" 9 Jun 2011
Three Years after the end of the Second World War, Europe was in the process of an economic rebuild and in Italy unemployment levels were high. This 1948 film takes us onto the streets of Rome where the balance between poverty and dignity is often precarious.

For the Ricci family things are looking up when Antonio is offered a job, the employment is conditional however and requires him to have his own bicycle. Unable to turn down employment he and his wife pawn their bed linen to raise enough money to get back the bike they had previously pawned. The couple are gloriously optimistic and their faces reflect their newfound happiness. Ricci cycles to work a contented man, but on his first day his bicycle is stolen. The police are unable to help, finding a bicycle in Rome would use all their resources so a dejected Ricci roams the streets of the city to try and find his wheels.

With his son Bruno, the two realise the futility of their mission, Rome is a big place. "Bicycle Thieves" is much more than a film about a bike theft - it's a father and son journey and explores the efforts a man will make to salvage his dignity, unable to provide for his family, he doesn't want to appear a failure. If the film has any message it's a simple one; life isn't fair. The poverty gap is cleverly depicted when the two eat a simple meal of mozzarella on bread with water, and Antonio is forced to watch his own son occasionally glimpse over at the table next door where a wealthy family eat a feast.

The film is relatively uneventful but brilliant in its simplicity. As Antonio and his boy spend time together their relationship seems to become one of father and son to that of two men observing the world for what it is.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous classic of the Italian cinema 26 July 2007
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Vittoria de Sica's famous film is as powerful, raw and moving now as it was when it was made - and in addition it has something of the feel of a historical document, portraying as it does the desperation of an honest man with a wife and children in the social and economic maelstrom of post-War Italy. He gets a job - hundreds do not - as a bill-poster, but he must have a bicycle ; the job depends on it. With difficulty he gets one, but on his first day at work, it is stolen. What looked like a promising future will turn to ashes for him, his wife and his two children, one a baby, if the bicycle is not recovered. With his son Bruno, wonderfully, wonderfully played by Enzo Staiolla, he sets out on a desperate quest to find the bicycle among the thousands and thousands in the city. The film moves through a series of episodes in the market place, a church ministering to the poor, the riverside, a brothel, a seedy quarter where he actually comes upon the thief, and so on until, at the end, despair drives him mad and, in view of his son, he himself turns quite against character and lets himself down in a tragically convincing way. There is no silver lining and no solution ; the film just ends. It is constantly involving, beautifully made, marvellously acted and even has little touches of humour, but in the end we are left with the memory of the strength of the relationship between father and son and the hope, but not the certainty, that somehow things will turn out all right. It is a wonderful film.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everyday as heroism 24 Aug 2003
Format:VHS Tape
this film sticks in my mind as one of the best and purest films made. it is beautifully shot and subtley acted (by amateurs) and it gives out a message to its audience.
this was the film that really defined the neo-realism movement. it was the first time that a style or movement could be clearly seen. the film seems so simple, and on one level it is, but at the same time it has underlying motives - humanism vs. fascism for example. but don't let this seemingly heavy subject put you off. the film is so good you can just WATCH the film and not SEE if you want.
on one level this film aches with a beauty and heartbreack rarely captured in any text. i rate this higher than any other neo-realism films - rome,open city, paisa or ossessione - and that is because it is so watchable.
the film offers up so many questions-about morality, responsibility, masculinity-and does it under the guise of reality-and reality is what is captured on screen in all its beauty and ugliness.
please watch this film!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film; awful subtitles 16 Aug 2010
This film is incredible in every way and I highly recommended it.

However, when it comes to subtitles, I'm beginning to understand Americans aversion to them. This dvd's English subtitles are of the worst possibly quality, missing more than half of the lines and offering the translation in completely wrong timing - something I have never found in subtitles of my own language.
If it wasn't for the fact that, as a Portuguese speaker, I can understand Italian well enough to compensate for the missing subtitles, I wouldn't even have finished watching it.

This is not the first time I've encountered bad English subtitles. However, these were so terrible they were either made by a child or someone extremely lazy.

Also, on the back it reads "Too poor to by another, he and his son...". Noticed the typo? That's on the backcover.
edit: Another problem I just noticed: it says running time 143min, but the movie is close to 90 minutes long.

The image quality is fine, but make no mistake, this is a terrible edition. If you can, buy a different version.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars ... filim is a classic and suitable for older people like me!
This filim is a classic and suitable for older people like me !
Published 5 hours ago by ptyr 3466
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good film, shows the hopelessness of post war Italy. Disappointing ending.
Published 8 days ago by Leonard Cowling
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absoulte classic
Published 2 months ago by Mark C Enders
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling viewing, you find yourself trying to find his bike for him!
*Spoiler alert!* This film has stayed with me though I watched it months ago. I bought it because it was on the IMDb top 250 movies, and this has been one of my best 'finds' yet... Read more
Published 2 months ago by sHemingway, Manchester
5.0 out of 5 stars One to watch
I do love this film. It is sad, a little funny but most of all a great watch. I will give nothing away about the characters in this film but, can say you will enjoy this movie.
Published 5 months ago by jules3121
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Nothing, Only A Bike says the rather unhelpful police officer in response to Lamberto Maggiorani's desperate father, Antonio Ricci, on having had his 'means of living' stolen in Vittorio De... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent film to make you think!
If you want a film to make you mad, reflective and then angry; this is the one. This film really pulls at your emotions and your loyalties to the characters. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Binx
3.0 out of 5 stars An over-rated film
I had hoped that watching the film would be a great joy, but was surprised to find it really rather ordinary. Read more
Published 8 months ago by James clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is this not shown on TV?
Wonderful heart rending film. There are no film makers around theses days to match this kind of unsentimental and hard hitting story of a good man pushed to the brink of despair.
Published 10 months ago by Derek Oliver Sibthorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic film
As imagined.
A classic film found after many years and well enjoyed. The time slot it was set in was very authentic.
Published 10 months ago by Mr. A.D. Ingham
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