Conclusion and Analysis of the Film ‘Bicycle Thieves'

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After all thought, I came to the conclusion that the film ‘Bicycle Thieves’ is one of those films that have become classics and are obligatory for viewing. It all started at the end of 1945 when directors and screenwriters, along with fascism repudiate the style of “cinema of white phones”. Such pictures were extremely far from the realities of ordinary life, differed visually with pomp and thoughtless plots about the life of the bourgeoisie, and also promoted social inequality and conservative traditions.

In this direction, started as an actor, and then as a director, Vittorio De Sica. However, he quickly improved himself and produced a more serious cinema. In 1943, De Sica introduce the drama “Children Look at Us”, which is often called the forerunner of Italian neo-realism, and three years later – “Shushu”, an absolute neo-realistic classic, received the first Oscar in the foreign language film category.

After the huge success, De Sica was looking for a plot for the next picture. In his own words, he had thirty or forty scenarios with the most impressive situations.

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However, the director wanted another – he wanted to make the most everyday story possible: “… I was looking for some seemingly less unusual events, some incident that happens with everyone, and especially often with the poor.” The French film researcher Andre Bazin later noted the following about this: “Nothing happens in the Bicycle Thieves that could not happen. De Sica did not want to show on the screen something initially amazing. He wanted to film something striking and dramatic in a small, inconspicuous event.

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In addition, this plot gave De Sica a chance to show the usual life in big city.

“Bicycle Thieves” is a neorealist film according to all the principles that can be found in the best Italian films since 1946. The director wanted to display a very unusual story that happened to the worker, not at all like ordinary days. In the film there is no crime committed in the heat of passion, or some large-scale tragedy that has become so boring to all the average films. The case is really insignificant – the worker spends the whole day searching in vain on the streets of Rome for a stolen bicycle. The bicycle was his tool of labor; if it cannot be found, the owner will probably fired again. In the evening, after many hours of fruitless searches, he tries to steal a bicycle by himself; being caught and then released, he is as impoverished as before, receiving only shame from the consciousness that he had fallen to the level of a thief.

It is quite clear that there is no material here even for a street accident. It does not in itself have any dramatic significance. It makes sense only depending on the social (rather than psychological or aesthetic) position of the victim. It would remain only a banal failure, but the author tries to reveal the essence of poverty as the main antagonist of this film. He portrays it as a ghost who will haunt the main character throughout the film, keeping the audience in suspense. Even the choice of a bicycle as a key object of drama is also characteristic of Italian city customs and for an era when mechanical means of transport were still rare and expensive.

Also very interesting is the fact that the director tried to assemble such a cast that would be very similar in character and type of role that had to be played. The main character is played by a worker from the Breda factory, the boy was found on the street, among onlookers, the worker’s wife is a journalist. De Sica had been looking for performers for Bicycle Thieves for a very long time and selected them according to exact specifications. Natural nobility, characteristic of the people cleanliness of facial features and gait. He hesitated for months, choosing one or another, took hundreds of samples before making a final decision, and made him in an instant, quite intuitively, noticing the silhouette met somewhere at the corner of the street. There is no miracle in it. The outstanding performance of the worker and the boy depends not on their extraordinary abilities, but on the whole aesthetic system in which they were included.

“Bicycle thieves” is a true masterpiece, the reason for this is a number of very precise circumstances that are not revealed either in the simple presentation of the scenario or in the superficial description of the methods of direction. First of all, there is a script that is cleverly built; based on the alibi of the social chronicle, it relies on several systems of dramatic coordinates that support it in all directions. “Bicycle thieves” is a significant film precisely because it retains its meaning, even if its social significance is discarded. Its social content cannot be distinguished; it is an immanent property of what is happening. But it is so clear that no one can neglect it, much less reject it, because it never manifests itself in itself.

19:05 – 23:30

One of the best scenes in this film is the bicycle theft itself( which is on 19:05 – 23:30), so I decided to analyze it. The background of this scene was very touching, as the Ricci family tried to get out of the debt trap, but they did not succeed. Since after the war there was a huge shortage of products and materials, so the majority of citizens could not afford to live in such large metropolitan areas. At that time, pawnshops were the key to success, since almost every third person came and handed over all of their remaining items, just to survive. So it was with the characters of this film, the Protagonist tried to get a job, but for this he needed a bicycle. Therefore, for the remaining money and belongings, the family bought the bicycle from the pawnshop and Antonio got a job as a banner advertiser.

But as in most other scenes of this film, the author tries to intrigue us with a beautiful composition, as well as using such workshops as Establishing shots, thereby showing us all the beauty of this city, as well as revealing the life in Rome in the world parallel to tourism. The authors refused from the light equipment. The picture, as far as possible, was filmed in natural light, and fortunately the benefit of the local climate to this position. At the same time, visual picture was not achieved by spontaneous filming. The team required careful planning and rehearsals. For example, when it came to shooting extreme long shots with stealing the bicycle and then pursuit of a thief. Sometimes on the site could be up to six cameras at a time.

There is not a single frame that would not be saturated with exceptional dramatic power, but there is no one that could not interest us, regardless of its dramatic continuation. The film develops in terms of pure accidents: rain, seminarians, Catholic ‘Quakers’, a restaurant. All these events would seem to be interchangeable. Indicative scene is in the thieves region. We gradually lose confidence in the fact that the worker is chasing the bike stealer; we will never know if his epileptic seizure was genuine or feigned. Since he does not lead to anything, this episode would be meaningless, as part of the “action”, if its romantic interest and its value as a fact did not endow it with additional dramatic significance. In fact, the action develops outside of what is happening and parallel to it, not as a result of a rise in tension, but as a ‘summation’ of events.

De Sica’s greatest good fortune, to which other directors have so far only approached in varying degrees, is that he was able to find a cinematic dialectic capable of rising above the contradiction between spectacular action and event.

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Conclusion and Analysis of the Film ‘Bicycle Thieves'. (2022, May 05). Retrieved from

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