Blu-ray Release: Bicycle Thieves

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 29, 2015
Price: Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award–winning 1948 Italians drama Bicycle Thieves (more commonly referred to as The Bicycle Thief in the U.S.)directed by Vittorio De Sica (Shoeshine), defined an era in cinema.

Lamberto Maggiorani (l.) and Enzo Staiola in De Sica's Neo-realist classic Bicycle Thieves

Lamberto Maggiorani (l.) and Enzo Staiola in De Sica’s Neorealist classic Bicycle Thieves

In poverty-stricken postwar Rome, a man (Lamberto Maggiorani) is on his first day of a new job that offers hope of salvation for his desperate family when his bicycle, which he needs for work, is stolen. With his young son (Enzo Staiola) in tow, he sets off to track down the thief.

Simple in construction and profoundly rich in human insight, Bicycle Thieves embodies the greatest strengths of the Italian neorealist movement: emotional clarity, social rectitude, and brutal honesty.

Criterion’s Blu-ray edition of the classic foreign film contains the following, much of which was previously featured on the label’s 2007 DVD release of the movie:

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
    • Working with De Sica,a collection of interviews with screenwriter Suso Cecchi d’Amico, actor Enzo Staiola, and film scholar Callisto Cosulich
    • Life as It Is, a program on the history of Italian neorealism, featuring scholar Mark Shiel
    • Documentary from 2003 on screenwriter and longtime Vittorio De Sica collaborator Cesare Zavattini, directed by Carlo Lizzani
    • Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
    • A book featuring essays by critic Godfrey Cheshire and filmmaker Charles Burnett, classic writings by Zavattini and critic André Bazin, and reminiscences by De Sica and his collaborators


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.