“Cited by Satyajit Ray as his inspiration to enter filmmaking, Vittorio De Sica’s neorealist tale finds the despair of postwar Italy evident in the faces of its men. Though the film also explores how women cope with poverty, it devotes most of its energy to documenting Rome’s streets and the depressed, unemployed men who populate them, anxiously waiting for work. One such man is Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani), who miraculously lands a job hanging movie posters around town. Things go awry after Antonio’s bicycle is stolen, forcing him and his young son Bruno to scour the city. For De Sica, the severity of Antonio’s ordeal is as much a crisis of masculinity as it is one of economics; Maggiorani’s melancholy eyes and hardened face express the hardship of a generation of men beaten by hunger and dim prospects. Youthful Bruno tries to keep them upbeat, but as father and son soon learn firsthand, a desperate man can sink to great depths.” — BAMPFA
Running time: 89 min
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Screenwriters: Oreste Biancoli, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Vittorio De Sica, Adolfo Franci, Gherardo Gherardi, Gerardo Guerrieri, Cesare Zavattini
Producer: Giuseppe Amato
Cinematographer: Carlo Montuori
Editor: Eraldo Da Roma
Films and schedules may be subject to change.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.