Bicycle Thieves

Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) (1948)

A poor man searches for his stolen bicycle with his son, gradually growing more desperate, because his livelihood depends on it. The movie makes its stakes clear from the start, making it easy to empathize with Antonio, the central character. The director used non actors, who end up doing a better job portraying real human beings than most “professionals”. Their unvarnished performances – along with the simple, unhurried plot – helps keep everything in the film pared down so that Antonio’s state of mind is what’s always most prominent to the viewer. As a result, his plight becomes surprisingly suspenseful, right up to the intense climactic scene and moving final moments.

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