Vittoria De Sica
A benchmark for neo-realism and minimalist style and a film that has inspired the maximum number of young filmmakers, Bicycle Thieves is a touching tale of poverty and unemployment in Italy in the mid-1940s. Antonio loses his badly-needed job as a municipal bill sticker on his first day on the job because his bicycle (the ownership of which was his only qualification for the job) gets stolen. Antonio and his six-year-old son Bruno get etched in our memory forever in their desperate search for the bicycle. It is incredible that the realistically and efficiently enacted roles of the father and the son were played by non-actors (Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiola), which is an indicator of the theory that the physical similarity of actors to the characters in the screenplay is what matters most and the emoting part depends on the director’s ability to draw it from the actor.