The Bicycle Thief
The Bicycle Thief (1949)

This movie had tremendous influence on the development of Italian neorealist cinema and is considered one of the best films ever made. The simple but riveting story centers on the desperate search of an impoverished Roman bill poster for… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: December 8, 1998
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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

The work of screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, director Vittorio De Sica, the nonprofessional actors, and many others is so charged with a common purpose that there's no point in even trying to separate their achievements.

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Variety Staff

The picture is a pure exercise in directorial virtuosity.

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Kate Muir
Times [UK]

Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves is tender and immediate, a simple tale of a man whose bike is stolenwhen his job and life depends upon it.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

Undeniably the most important neorealist film after Rossellini's Open City.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

This film manages to appeal to the better angels of our nature in a way that only deepens as we grow older along with the film.

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William Poster
The Nation

The Bicycle Thief does have a certain ramshackle simplicity, quietness, and even naivete that are not unwelcome as a change from the stunning noise, ingenuity, and sophistication of Hollywood.

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Hank Sartin
Time Out

De Sica carefully balances a generally tragic sensibility with a quiet undercurrent of hope, all the while sucking us into the story with the sheer urgency of the search for a stolen bicycle.

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out

It's a title you simply must watch, not necessarily for the truths it packs but rather for the bombed-out buildings of postwar Italy, peripheral details that director Vittorio De Sica insisted on.

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Josh Larsen

...captures, in elemental strokes, the crushing of the human spirit at the hands of poverty, indifference and despair.

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More reviews for The Bicycle Thief

Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
Humorous, poignant and heartbreaking, this wonderful gem of Italian neorealism deserves every bit of its long-lasting reputation as a classic and unforgettable… More
Jim Hunter
A working class man's bicycle, which is his sole means of transportation to his job, is stolen, and he embarks on a journey throughout Rome to recover it.… More
Spencer S.
This neo-surrealist Italian masterpiece from filmmaker Vittorio de Sica is a classic by many standards and remains one of the top films of the century. The… More
KJ Proulx
This film begins as a heartfelt journey of a family trying to finds jobs to keep food on the table for their family. He finds a job to support his family, but… More
Josh Morris
The Bicycle Thief (I prefer the singular) is one of the assumed classics that feel totally fresh and relevant from the first frame and don't need DVD… More
Bruce Bruce
Another Movie from The Criterion Collection , filmed in 1948, Spine Number 374. A super good film about a family in Italy trying to get by after the war while… More