Vittorio De Sica. Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette). 1948
Vittorio De Sica

Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette)

1948
Not on view
Medium
35mm film (black and white, sound)
Duration
91 minutes
Credit
Ceskoslovensky Filmovy Archiv (by exchange)
Object number
F24
Department
Film

In Bicycle Thief, a worker whose livelihood depends on his bicycle finds that it has been stolen, and spends a heartbreaking day with his young adoring son searching for it in the streets of Rome. The film represents a genre of Italian cinema known as neo-realism, an enormously influential style in which films were shot on location, outdoors, and with available light. Filmmakers such as De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Giuseppe De Santis, and Luchino Visconti often used nonprofessional actors in their stories about common people adjusting to the brutal conditions of a society humbled and impoverished by war.

De Sica, an actor, directed his first film in 1939, but it was not until he made his postwar neo-realist masterworks, Shoeshine, Bicycle Thief, and Umberto D, in particular, that he became internationally celebrated. In spite of its having initially been censored in the United States, Bicycle Thief was so well received in America that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored it with a special award two years before the Oscar for the best foreign-language film was inaugurated.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 208

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In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

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