A heartfelt portrait of an impoverished retired civil servant who lives in a rented room in postwar Rome with only his beloved dog and a teenage housemaid as companions. Faced with eviction when he can't keep up with his rent, the old man struggles to make ends meet and maintain his dignity, but his growing despair leads him to contemplate suicide.
Written by De Sica's long-standing collaborator Cesare Zavattini (who is the subject of an in-depth documentary extra on this DVD), UMBERTO D's depiction of poverty, old age and¬ loneliness - far from being a recipe for bleakness -¬ is bursting with life.
Despite international acclaim with ¬Cannes and Oscar nominations, it was castigated by the Italian government for airing the country's 'dirty laundry' in public. Today UMBERTO D is universally considered not only as the apex of Italian Neorealism but as one of cinema's masterpieces with a profound influence on generations of filmmakers.
The DVD also features an hour-plus documentary featuring Cannes and Oscar ® winners Roberto Benigni (LA VITA E BELLA), Bernardo Bertolucci (LAST EMPEROR) and Carlo Lizzani, who directs this investigation of the mysteries of Neorealism and its founders; as seen through the provocative personality of Zavattini not just in his partnership with De Sica but also in his many other masterpieces, which shaped Italian and World Cinema forever.