Starring: Enzo Staiola, Lamberto Maggiorani
Director: Carlo Lizzani
Top 45 - Values
The Bicycle Thief
is Everyman's search for dignity - it is as though the soul of a man
had been filmed.
Bicycle Thief is about a man, a worker, who must have a bike in
order to work at his job. He is desperate, pawns
everything to regain his machine, goes to work, has the thing stolen
from him while his back is turned, and then goes on a search through
Rome to find it. That is about all there is to it.
But it happens to be very close to a lyrical masterpiece.
this is not because we see Rome
as it is, or poor people, or rags. It is because
these actual details are organized by a humane view of life.
The film is unafraid to examine openly, straightforwardly, the
terrible distorted, destructive world which Man has made for himself.
has a point of view. It is genuinely angry, in
fact, ferocious. And this anger is not cloaked
(angled), got at by indirection and ladies' magazine plot masquerades,
but is expressed by means of a head-on collision with the facts of life
as they exist.
many years, while writing my plays, I had tried to find means for
expressing my ideas about life. It is the central
process of every writer's development. I came,
painfully, to the area where there was nothing left, no plots, no cagey
angles, but only the possibility of saying openly and clearly and
simply what I had in mind to say, uncloaked, naively. The
Bicycle Thief is especially clear to me - as it will be to many
others - because it is so sweetly naive.
makers understood about "relief." The only
admissible relief in a dramatic play or picture arrives when the work
discovers something good, something fine, something wonderful about the
human animal. Relief is inadmissible and falsifying
when it is picked up by means of form-destroying vagaries of plot,
which have crumpled most of the seriously intended pictures I have seen.
consequence of this remorselessness, The Bicycle Thief seems
truer and truer as it proceeds, and not cleverer and cleverer.
Its story is its central character, and he is the story - the
desperate, unclinkable search of a poor man for his dignity.
because it is remorseless and refuses to covet the alleged weaknesses
of the audience (which are really but the weaknesses of the artists) it
seems to grow larger than itself; this poor man, without a noble speech
to his home, begins to seem like Man. His search
for his stolen bike assumes shimmering proportions of symbolism.
And we are lifted out of "Realisms" by realism itself into a
world of simple comparisons; for instance, are we not all in search of
dignity? And does this not come to us by means of
our work which is our justification and our basic worth?
man's work has been stolen from him, and the city of his home turns
into a jungle around him, and he has nothing, nothing at all.
This picture, perhaps above all others, performs the central
function of art. Without warping the life it
depicts, it discovers the meaning of that life, its significance for
Arthur Miller, playwright
- Original Italian dialogue Soundtrack
with English Subtitles
- Dubbed English Dialogue Soundtrack
- Theatrical Trailer (in English)
Rating: Not Rated. IMDB Parents Guide
Rating: A-II --
adults and adolescents.
Want to know more?...Click on the movie
Time: 89 Minutes
Black & White
Languages: English, Italian