Stereoactive Movie Club Ep 10 // Bicycle Thieves

Directed by Vittorio De Sica, 1948's 'Bicycle Thieves' is an emblematic example of the neorealist movement that developed in Italy after World War II.

Stereoactive Movie Club Ep 10 // Bicycle Thieves
Stereoactive Movie Club Round Two (Lora's Pick)
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It’s Lora’s 2nd pick: ‘Bicycle Thieves,’ the 1948 film directed by Vittorio De Sica. The movie was released in Italy in November of 1948 and opened in the United States in December of the following year.

The film, along with others by De Sica, are considered among the most emblematic examples of the Italian Neo-Realist movement of filmmaking that arose in the years after World War 2. As part of that movement, it was greeted with what could be summed up as somewhat mixed to positive reviews in Italy, with critics comparing it to other works of the movement and measuring it to certain principles established therein.

The reception outside of Italy – especially in France and the United States – was largely laudatory, as the film and movement it was a part of were praised as groundbreaking and important. As the film played around the world in the late 40s and early 50s it earned several awards; here in the United States it not only won an Honorary Academy Award as most outstanding foreign language film, but was also nominated for a Best Screenplay award.

As far as what we’re doing on this podcast, Bicycle Thieves holds perhaps a particularly important place, as it was voted the #1 greatest film of all time in the very first critics poll Sight & Sound did back in 1952… Since then it’s placed #7 in 1962 and as a runner up in 1992 It was also on the directors poll, at #6 in 2002 and #10 in 2012.

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