Bicycle Thieves (1948)


Continuing my journey through the IMDB top 250 (I have to try and reach the goal I’ve set of having seen 225 of them by the end of the year), Bicycle Thieves is the next one on the list I’ve seen. It’s a movie I had never heard of before. The title is very descriptive, so I was wondering what kind of story this movie would tell.


Released in 1948 this movie is a very obvious result of it’s time. It’s set in Rome just after the second world war, with parts of the city in ruins. People have trouble finding jobs and sell everything they don’t need in their houses, just to survive. One of those people is Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani), who manages to find a job, but can only get it if he actually has a bike. Now he doesn’t have to steal one, because he has one, but he brought it to a pawn shop. Together with his wife they decide to bring away some bed sheets to get some money for those and get the bike. Once he has the bike he is happy knowing that he’ll be able to provide for his family.

Of course at one moment his bike is stolen and because it is so extremely important to him he searches Rome for his bike together with his son. It’s a task that seems to be impossible. The closing scene of the movie is an emotional one.

The movie has some memorable scenes, like one where you can see how many people used to pawn things in their house to survive, another one is where Antonio and his son visit a restaurant, giving them a moment of pure bliss in a dark and depressive period in their lives. It probably would not appear in my personal top 250, but understand why people love this film.

Score: 8

11 thoughts on “Bicycle Thieves (1948)

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Links (6/20/12)

  2. I saw this film for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. The ending was incredible, one that I will not be forgetting anytime soon.

  3. This is the first movie they make you watch in any accredited film class. I love it, and had seen it well prior to it being an assignment, which didn’t seem to impress the instructor too much.

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