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The Bicycle Thief / Bicycle Thieves (1948) (Italy) - (Movies To See Before You Die - World Cinema/Drama)
11 Apr, 2009 | Movies To See Before You Die / World Cinema

This is a fine example of mastery over simplicity and expressions. Applauded all over the world for its content and execution, you may find the movie very simple and straight. But if you are a person who cares and feels about human emotions then you are sure going to love it a lot. The story is about a person who needs a bicycle as a requisite to get a job. After he acquires it, giving away some of his belongings, he finds his bicycle has been stolen on the very first day of his job. Now the rest of the film is about how he goes on searching for his lost bicycle along with his 8-10 years old son. And the hidden message of the movie is to see the journey of their search through the eyes of the child.

The director beautifully shows how a small child is totally dependent on his parents and completely helpless in situations out of his control. You can feel the pain and uneasiness experienced by the child as he witnesses his father doing different things to find his lost bicycle. Just see the movie keeping in mind the child and you will surely find new angles of expressions filmed brilliantly. The movie received an Honorary Oscar Award for its excellence and Indian master film-maker Satyajit Ray also quoted this film as an influence on his choice of becoming a director.
 
If you have seen Bimal Roy’s “Do Bigha Zameen” then you are sure going to agree that the influence of this world famous classic is quite evident in that Indian masterpiece too. Bimal Roy must have had “The Bicycle Thief” at the back of his mind while making his much appreciated Indian Classic. The main difference between the two is that “Do Bigha Zameen” goes a bit melodramatic and sentimental in its approach whereas “The Bicycle Thief” says it all without going into that avoidable direction. And here lies the beauty of the movie which makes it a little better than the Bimal Roy’s much appreciated venture. 
 
However while watching “The Bicycle Thief”, there was only one person in my mind who could play the lead if it was made in Hindi, and he was the highly respected “Mr. Balraj Sahni”. He was the only one who could have expressed the sufferings of the bicycle owner in the right way as he lived his life from the heart and knew how to act without acting. So you can also watch “The Bicycle Thief” imagining “Balraj Sahni” as the lead hero. That will be a completely new, different and pleasant experience to have which will double your pleasure watching this highly recommended World Classic.  

Directed By Vittorio De Sica


Tags : Vittorio De Sica, The Bicycle Thief, The Bicycle Thieves, Italian Cinema, Italian Movies, 100 All Time Great Movies, Widely Appreciated, Honorary Oscar Award, Satyajit Ray,Bimal Roy, Do Bigha Zameen, Balraj Sahni, World Classic, World Cinema, Movies to See Before You Die, Must See Movies List By Bobby Sing
11 Apr 2009 / Comment ( 2 )
raunak

Yes,bicycle thieves is indeed a truly world class film.infact,most of De Sica's films are world classics in general.I would recommend you to surely watch De sica's other masterpieces like Umberto D ,Children are waiting ,Garden of Finzi Continis,Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow,Shoeshine etc.Watch them for sure and you will definately treasure every moment of these films.

note:It seems, atleast to me, that thematically love aaj kal is quite close to Yesterday,today and tomorrow.

and yes,i agree that Bicycle Thieves is a better film than Do Bigha zameen ,but still leaving out DBZ from your list of 'MOVIES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE' list is very wrong,considering that you have included commercial potboilers like MUQADDAR KA SIKANDAR ,ROTI KAPDA AUR MAKAAN AND PURAB AUR PASCHIM IN IT.After all,leaving a film which won prizes at such reputed film festivals like cannes and carlovy does'nt seem right.Moreover DBZ has a great impact over all Indian filmmakers.Ashutosh gowariker himself has admitted that his rain sequence in Lagaan is borrowed from Do Bigha Zameen.The depiction of Slum children in Mira Nair's Oscar nominated Salaam Bombay is heavily inspired from Do Bigha Zameen which Mira Nair Herself has called as a tribute to one of her favourite films that is DBZ.And a last thing ,you cannot leave out a film which was Satyajit Ray,V.Shantaram and Raj Kapoor's favourite hindi film.All three of them said that DBZ was their favourite hindi film.

I know it has become a very long post but I think that for someone like you who is such a dedicated student of cinema ,this info would surely be valuable.

Bobby Sing

Hi Raunak,
Thanks for your detailed comment and recommedations too. I will surely watch all these movies soon and get back here.
Regarding "Do Bigha Zameen", as you insist I will surely add it to my list giving it a second thought. It is an important movie in the India Film History for sure and has influenced many other masters of the art too.

So I will include it in the list but till then keep visiting and writing these valuable comments.

Cheers!
HIS BLESSINGS

 

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