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Bicycle Thieves
Bicycle Thieves

Bicycle Thieves 1948


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Bicycle Thieves 1948 U

88 mins Italy Director. Vittorio De Sica

A landmark of humanist filmmaking, Bicycle Thieves was a key work in the 1940s film movement known as Italian neo-realism. Set in post-war Rome, it follows the misfortunes of down-on-his-luck Antonio (played by Lamberto Maggiorani) and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola). Over the course of the day they embark on a fruitless hunt for the father’s stolen bike, which he desperately needs to work and support the family.

Along with the wartime trilogy that Roberto Rossellini began with Rome: Open City (1945), it heralded a new kind of cinematic naturalism, employing non-professionals as actors and taking the camera out onto the streets to faithfully record the social realities of a Europe struggling to get back on its feet after WWII. For all its vivid documentation of a downtrodden Rome, it is as a universal tale of human striving that De Sica’s film has proved influential.

In 1952 Bicycle Thieves topped Sight & Sound’s inaugural greatest films poll and remains a favourite among both critics and audiences today.

Directed by

Vittorio De Sica


Lamberto Maggiorani

Enzo Staiola

Lianella Carell

Elena Altieri


Classics Drama


Cycling On Film Sight and Sound Greatest Films Poll Best of BAFTA Academy Awards Award Winning Italian Classics Mark Kermode Introduces









Production company

Produzioni De Sica S.A.

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