Summary and respose "The Bicycle Thief" by Vittorio de Sica

Essay by belluccimaniaCollege, Undergraduate April 2004

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Set in post-World War II Rome, the movie opens with a group of men waiting to hear what jobs are available. The movie's main character is up for a job posting posters throughout the city, the only glitch is that it requires a bicycle. He says he can get one, with that he pawns his family's linens to acquire a bicycle so that he can support them. During his first day on the job his bicycle is stolen. The movie progresses a few days while the man and his young son comb the streets looking for the bicycle and the thief. He finds the thief, but without proof or witnesses they are unable to do anything. After wandering around without any luck, he and his son end up outside of a packed soccer stadium with a sea of parked bicycles. In what becomes an agonizing decision he attempts to steal a bicycle but his caught while his young son looks on in pain.

Very moving, it seemed so real, kudos to de Sica. You really begin to feel the emotions of the characters after the father returns home after his bike has been stolen. When he left he was so full of confidence and pride, yet that one act of having his bike stolen almost destroys him. Watching his character deteriorate as the film progresses is phenomenally sad, how he begins to treat his son differently as the two of them search Rome for the bicycle.

One of the other elements that I liked was the use more of a sepia tone as opposed to Technicolor which was becoming very popular at that time in cinematic history. This technique gave a grittier feel to the movie, gives the viewer more a post-war Rome feel to it. Making the viewer...