Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette)
Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette) (1949)

This landmark Italian neorealist drama became one of the best-known and most widely acclaimed European movies, including a special Academy Award as "most outstanding foreign film" seven years before that Oscar category existed.… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: December 13, 1949
DVD Release Date: December 8, 1998
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: An Italian neorealism exemplar, Bicycle Thieves thrives on its non-flashy performances and searing emotion.

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.

Full review…
Variety Staff

The picture is a pure exercise in directorial virtuosity.

Full review…
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

It's not hyperbole to flatly state that this is one of the all-time greats in the annals of cinema; on my own list, only Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal ranks higher when it comes to foreign-language films.

Full review…
Don Druker
Chicago Reader

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

Full review…
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.

Full review…
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

It has passages of beauty and heartbreak that suggest a genuine humanism that is all too often lacking from movies whose primary goals are to thrill, excite, or otherwise distract from life itself.

Full review…
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.

Full review…
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.

Full review…
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.

Full review…

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