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Umberto D [DVD]

Carlo Battisti , Maria Pia Casilio , Vittorio de Sica    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari, Alberto Albani Barbieri
  • Directors: Vittorio de Sica
  • Producers: Nino Misiano
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Nouveaux
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Dec 2012
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002VF4NU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,411 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Hugely revered Neo-Realist film from Vittorio De Sica, that was for years banned in Italy and labelled as subversive and negative to the country. It is a portrait of an old man, living out his last days alone and abandoned by a post-war Italian society. Non-professional Carlo Battisti plays Umberto Domenico Ferrari, a retired civil servant with no friends, family or prospects to speak of, only his dog Flike for company. Umberto lives only on his meagre pension and in dire surroundings with a grasping landlady. He has fallen behind on his rent and after many indignities finally reaches a point where suicide seems like the only answer. However he puts those thoughts aside when he realises that Flike would be left to the streets if he was not there.

* Digitally remastered from a restored print
* Documentary on screenplay writer Cesare Zavattini


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sort out your pension plan!! 10 Dec 2005
Format:DVD
One of the most poignant and moving stories ever told on film, with an unusual theme - what happens to an old man who is left destitute by circumstances (war, inflation) in post-war Italy. Terribly sad and sentimental, yet filled with the visual poetry for which De Sica (Bicycle Thieves) is deservedly famed. A superb film - withering in its critique of uncaring capitalism - that can be watched time and time again.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is a charming film, one that could be very sentimental but is not, in my view, and certainly one that stays in the memory. Umberto is an old man in post-War Rome who has no money. His plight is shared by many - the film opens with a demonstration by the elderly against the unfeeling treatment they face. He has a dog - Flike - who is his constant companion. His rented room is needed by his heavily painted, uncaring landlady, and he can no longer afford her unreasonable rent. He has a strong bond with the chambermaid, a naive, uneducated but very pretty girl, pregnant by one of two soldiers - she doesn't know which. Her situation is in many ways as unsure as his. Neither soldier seems to care about her and her family she says, will beat her if she returns to her village. Umberto does all he can to hold on to his lodgings, but in the end to no avail and, facing death on the streets, he desperately tries to find a future for Flike. This final fifteen minutes or so of the film is wonderfully poignant. He tries to 'board' Flike with people who in take dogs ... he will give all his money to them ; but clearly they are not to be trusted, and Flike senses that, cowering and whimpering, so they leave. He gives the dog to a little girl whom he knows, but the adults with her will not allow this. Finally, he walks beyond a level crossing barrier with the dog as a train approaches. Will he throw the dog under the train, to end it all quickly? Will he dive under the train, holding the dog? Neither happens, What does happen has to be seen, and my words will not do it justice. The film is wonderfully directed and acted, and the little terrier mongrel is astonishing in its 'role'. It is hard-edged - there is no solution to Umberto's plight, and the depiction of War-damaged Rome is completely convincing. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neorealism at its best 11 Feb 2009
Format:DVD
A sublime tale of a government pensioner, by the name of Umberto Domenico Ferrari (played brilliantly by Carlo Battisti) in the post-war Italy. Times were difficult, the rate of unemployment was very high, riots were constant among the population and the economy of Italy was decaying.
In such times Umberto D. had only one objective: survive. He and he's only friend a dog named Flike.
Along with "Bycicle Thieves" (from the same director Vittorio De Sica) and Roberto Rosselini's "Rome: Open City" this drama is one of the three kings of Italian Neorealism. Highly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of neorealism 20 Jun 2007
By Dennis Littrell TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Having seen the film I read a bit about it. The Criterion Collection provides a booklet with an excellent review by Stuart Klawans and a bit of an interview with director Vittorio De Sica. What I learned was the Umberto D. was a big flop at the box office in Italy primarily because the Italian government didn't like the film because they thought it was insulting since it made Italy seem so unfeeling, poverty-stricken, and mercantile. I was struck by this because, yes, poor Umberto and his dog are pretty much set out to pasture without so much as some grass and a bone. But to say that such a film reflects upon an entire people is perhaps to protest too much.

Italy was devastated by the failure of fascism and was just beginning to recover from the war when this film was made, and nobody wanted any downers. Vittorio De Sica's film is perhaps not so much of a downer as the early critics thought. The ending is ambiguous and while not hopeful for Umberto is somewhat inspiring in the youthfulness of his dog and in the sweet humanity of the maid Maria who shoulders her situation with alacrity while showing affection and kindness toward a bitter old man.

I was not moved to tears as some have been in watching this. Umberto's troubles seem to me (from my privileged vantage point in time and place) somewhat of his own doing. I imagined that he supported the fascists, and I saw his poverty in his old age as a direct result of that support. Barring that, I imagined that he had planned poorly for his old age, and at any rate his values, represented by his always wearing a suit and tie and hat and his inability to beg or to take some kind of job, disqualified him for tears. Of course I was unfair.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 July 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
a powerful drama, many thanks, David.
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