Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thieves is a simple story set amidst a post-war Rome. It is a neorealist film characterized by setting the story amongst the poor and working class. The film surrounds the difficult economical and moral conditions of post WWII Italy, reflecting the conditions of everyday life: Poverty and desperation, with the implicit message that in a better society, wealth would be more evenly distributed. The plot is simple, surrounding a man, his son and a bicycle. The film tells a story of Antonio Ricci, an unemployed worker who finally gets a job to paste advertisements in the city of Rome. To keep this job, he must have a bicycle, in which his wife, Maria had to pawn their bed linens to get money to redeem their
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In other scenes, Antonio and his wife pawning their bed linen to redeem the bicycle, Bruno giving the bicycle a good clean (again, the emphasis of the importance of the bicycle in how they value it through act of cleaning-taking good care of it), Antonio riding the bicycle to accompany his wife, Maria to return thanks to the seer, send his son then reporting for work (the many uses of the bicycle), etc. Additionally, from the point the bicycle is stolen, the movie is dedicated to following the whole process of looking for at the workshop, following the old man around, catching the thief but without evidence to the ending of Antonio attempting to steal it. In a way, this also shows that the bicycle is central to the story. It is very important to the family as it represents their livelihood and their chance of a better life.
Additionally, in one scene, Antonio is seen accompany his wife, Maria on the bicycle to return thanks to the seer. In this scene, the director is teasing us as we expect the bicycle to disappear when Antonio, out of curiosity, went to look what Maria is doing in the house.
The movie attempts to contrast the rich and the poor people in post-war Italy at that point of time. This is reflected in a few scenes.
Firstly, when Antonio went on his first day at work, as a poster-hanger, posting cinema advertisement, which is a large portrait of Rita Hayworth. This provides an ironic contrast between the world of Hollywood (representing the rich) and