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Shoeshine (Sciuscia) - Masters of Cinema series [DVD] [1946]

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Rinaldo Smordoni, Franco Interlenghi, Annielo Mele, Bruno Ortenzi, Emilio Cigoli
  • Directors: Vittorio De Sica
  • Writers: Adolfo Franci, Cesare Giulio Viola, Cesare Zavattini, Sergio Amidei
  • Producers: Paolo William Tamburella
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Eureka
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Sept. 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HEVTQ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,791 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Oscar winning foreign drama inspired by the real stories of those struggling to overcome the oppressive forces of a corrupt and ineffective political system in postwar Rome. Giuseppe (Rinaldo Smordoni) and Pasquale (Franco Interlenghi) work on the street, where they shine the shoes of American troops. They dream of a better life, seeking solace in a horse that they ride to escape their harsh reality. When the boys are implicated in a petty crime, they are punished by the society that has robbed them of their innocence, resulting in tragic consequences.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A lot of European art house movies are set in prisons or schools which are like prisons, especially either side of the war. Here prison is a prison within a prison of a society in occupied Italy. This is the harshest of all those films and unremittingly bleak, made ironically more so by the street humour and good-naturedness of innocence doing its best to scrape a living and enjoy itself despite everything. The sense that there might just be a future for father and son after the end of Bicycle Thieves is absent here as the appalling tragedy works itself out and adults are, in the main, guilty of forgetting their responsibilities and humanity. A desolate masterpiece.
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Shoeshine is one of the primary post-war Italian neo-realist films by Vittorio de Sica.The story of the two shoeshine boys, Giusseppe(Smordoni) and Pascale(Interlenghi) , who earn a bare living through being shoeshine boys to American troops stationed in Italy. What they earn they spend on riding a horse, which they hope to buy one day. Filmed in location in post-war Rome using non-professional actors. Inspired by the real stories of those struggling to overcome the oppressive forces of a corrupt and ineffective political system, it was based on two boys who worked to go horse-riding.

Post-war Italy is troubled and depressed, plagued by poverty and unemployment.Giusseppe’s and Pascale’s dream is to escape harsh reality through riding a horse.They are in the process of saving enough money to buy the horse. There are scenes of pure joy as the boys both ride the horse together in town or countryside, with music accompanying these emotions. Giusseppe is friends with a little girl. The boys become involved in petty crime through Giusseppe’s older brother. They get caught by the police, questioned and sentenced to juvenile prison. They become split up by society, placed in separate cells. One betrays the other through trying to protect him.

The scenes filmed in prison are especially good, with crowds of prisoners. There are scenes where the juveniles are shown a film, and another where they are shown having mass showers. The cell scenes show the prisoners as they distribute the food in their parcels. The system corrupts their youthful innocence and their love for each other is destroyed. The food is awful and the sickly soon die.The corrective state has brutalised the love and trust at the heart of humanity. As in King Lear there is no happy ending, pathos turns to tragedy.
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First major critical and commercial success for director Vittorio de Sica and screenwriter & theorist Cesare Zavattini, shortly together to produce masterpieces BICYCLE THIEVES & UMBERTO D. In SHOESHINE the authenticity of script and the standout youthful performances are offset against extensive use of studio sets rather than filming in actual locations. An important landmark in Italian cinema nevertheless, with its portrayal of the post-war underclass, and a peerless package (as usual) from Masters of Cinema.
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I don't know why but this is one Di Sica film that escaped me. It has however been worth the long wait and would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is interested in Italian neo-realism
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An everyday, but truly tragic story of two children being shaped by the harshness of life in a desperate post-war Italy.
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