The Bicycle Thief

1949 NR 1h 29m DVD

The Bicycle Thief

1949 NR 1h 29m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Poverty-stricken Antonio needs his bicycle to do his new job. But the same day he buys it back from a pawnshop, someone steals it, prompting him to search the city in vain with his young son.
Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Gino Saltamerenda, Vittorio Antonucci, Giulio Chiari, Michele Sakara, Emma Druetti, Fausto Guerzoni
Vittorio De Sica
Full Screen 1.33:1
English: Dolby Digital Mono, Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know a sympathetic lead character in this notoriously downbeat drama is driven to commit a crime at the climax, and the picture ends on a melancholy note, with no sense of justice being done. There is talk about getting drunk, though nothing comes of it. The film is in black and white, and seeing it the way the filmmakers intended requires subtitle reading (though dubbed versions are available). In Roman Catholic circles and Web sites this film is highly regarded (one subplot concerns a charity church service), though the emphasis is on suffering more than salvation.

Sexual Content

Not applicable


A few near-scuffles. A character suffers (or pretends to suffer) a kind of seizure under pressure. A father hits his son.


"Damn it" is about as bad is it gets.

Social Behavior

The simple structure of the tale has led to numerous interpretations -- everything from the basic "life is unfair," to a highfalutin' metaphor for the world's voiceless urban lower classes. Antonio painfully looking for the bicycle on which his family's future depends reflects the working poor on a desperate quest for meaning and dignity.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Antonio talks about getting drunk. Wine served in a restaurant setting.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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