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The Bicycle Thief Details


This landmark Italian neorealist drama became one of the best-known and most widely acclaimed European movies, including a special Academy Award as "most outstanding foreign film" seven years before that Oscar category existed. Written primarily by neorealist pioneer Cesare Zavattini and directed by Vittorio DeSica, also one of the movement's main forces, the movie featured all the hallmarks of the neorealist style: a simple story about the lives of ordinary people, outdoor shooting and lighting, non-actors mixed together with actors, and a focus on social problems in the aftermath of World War II. Lamberto Maggiorani plays Antonio, an unemployed man who finds a coveted job that requires a bicycle. When it is stolen on his first day of work, Antonio and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) begin a frantic search, learning valuable lessons along the way. The movie focuses on both the relationship between the father and the son and the larger framework of poverty and unemployment in postwar Italy. As in such other classic films as Enzo Staiola (1946), Enzo Staiola (1952), and his late masterpiece Enzo Staiola (1971), DeSica focuses on the ordinary details of ordinary lives as a way to dramatize wider social issues. As a result, The Bicycle Thief works as a sentimental study of a father and son, a historical document, a social statement, and a record of one of the century's most influential film movements. ~ Leo Charney, Rovi

  • Release date:October 24, 1948


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cesare Zavattini Best Screenplay 1949 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Vittorio De Sica Best Film - Any Source 1949 Winner
National Board of Review Vittorio De Sica Best Director 1949 Winner


Lamberto Maggiorani
as Antonio Ricci
Lianella Carell
as Maria Ricci
Enzo Staiola
as Bruno Ricci
Elena Altieri
as The Lady
Vittorio Antonucci
as The Thief
Gino Saltamerenda
as Bajocco
Michele Sakara
Fausto Guerzoni
as Amateur Actor
Nando Bruno
Memmo Carotenuto
Umberto Spadaro
Fausto Guerzoni
as Amateur Actor


Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica
Cesare Zavattini
Suso Cecchi D'Amico
Adolfo Franci
Luigi Bartolini
Book Author
Eraldo Da Roma
Antonio Traverso
Art Director