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  • Bicycle Thieves [Dual Format DVD + Blu- Ray][1948] [Blu-ray]
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Bicycle Thieves [Dual Format DVD + Blu- Ray][1948] [Blu-ray]

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Bicycle Thieves [Dual Format DVD + Blu- Ray][1948] [Blu-ray] + Miracle in Milan (+II Tetto) [Dual Format Edition] [Blu-ray] [1951]
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Product details

  • Actors: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Gino Salamerenda
  • Directors: Vittorio De Sica
  • Format: Black & White, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 18 April 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002XT3896
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,578 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Heralded as the greatest film ever made on release, winning an Oscar in 1949 and topping the Sight & Sound film poll in 1952, De Sica s seminal work of Italian neorealism has had an impact on cinema worldwide from release to the present day, with filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray and Ken Loach claiming the film as a direct influence on their own.

Bicycle Thieves tells the of Antonio, a long unemployed man who finally finds employment putting up cinema posters for which he needs a bicycle. His wife pawns all the family linen to redeem the already pawned bicycle and for Antonio salvation has come, until the bicycle is stolen. Antonio and his son take to the streets in a desperate search to find the bicycle, which will keep them away from poverty and humiliation but amidst a sea of bicycles and without proof the search is fruitless. Bicycle Thieves us as much about the position of Italians in post-War, post-Fascist Italy as well as the relationship between father and son, told through the labyrinth of the cinematic city with De Sica s visual poetry. With pared down minimalism, eschewing studios and famous actors for real locations and non-professional actors who lived the lives they were playing, Bicycle Thieves defined the neorealist period, a small period of filmmaking that focused on simple, humanist stories, of which Bicycle Thieves was one of the most captivating and moving.

Arrow Academy presents Vittorio De Sica s masterpiece Bicycle Thieves on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.


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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jun. 2011
Format: Blu-ray
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Harding - Author on 19 July 2013
Format: Blu-ray
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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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 July 2007
Format: DVD
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 By mr russell p andrews on 24 Aug. 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD
"Bicycle Thieves" appears in the top 10 of the BFI's "Top 50 films you should see by the Age of 14", which admittedly without the inclusion of a single western should not be taken too seriously. It has also been cited by many film critics as one of the most influential films in history. With that sort of street cred I felt it was high time to check it out, sadly at a little more advanced age than fourteen. Never mind, better late than never, as they say! The film directed by Vittorio DeSica is a part of the post Second World War neo-realism wave of films made in Italy, which attempted to inject realism into movies by using natural locations and unknown actors. They were often made with old cameras and poor film stock. In the aftermath of World War Two, Italy suffered grinding poverty which caused great hardship for the population. The film is set in Rome to this background.

The story concerns a poor man who manages to get scarce work for the local council pasting up billboards. Such a job is like gold dust, but is reliant on him having a bicycle. Selling valuable bed linen to reclaim his own bike back from the pawnbrokers he sets out on his work. Whilst ironically pasting a poster with the impossibly glamourous Rita Hayworth from the film "Gilda", which juxtaposes Rome's current poverty with Hollywood's dream riches, the bike is stolen. With his job dependent on the bike, he sets out on an increasingly desperate search around the streets of Rome with his nine year old son in tow.

The film works strongly as a devastating indictment of the effects of poverty, and has an authentic sting in its tail. The great Indian film maker Satyajit Ray was strongly influenced by the film on a visit to London, and used the experience in his film "Pather Panchali".
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