Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Plot: Ricci, an unemployed man in the depressed post-WWII economy of Italy, gets at last a good job - for which he needs a bike - hanging up posters. But soon his bicycle is stolen. He and his son walk the streets of Rome, looking for the bicycle. Ricci finally manages to locate the thief but with no proof, he has to abandon his cause. But he and his son know perfectly well that without a bike, Ricci won't be able to keep his job.
The movie director Sergio Leone(The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) worked as an assistant for Vittorio De Sica during the filming of this movie. He also has a short appearance as one of the priests that are standing next to Bruno and Antonio during the rainstorm.
There's a scene later in the movie where Bruno is nearly run over twice whilst crossing the street. This was absolutely unrehearsed - it was filmed on location and the two cars happened to pass by at that time.
Lead actor Lamberto Maggiorani really did struggle for work after this film was completed.
The actors in the film were all amateurs. Vittorio De Sica decided not to use professionals. For his cast, Vittorio De Sica chose a factory fitter who had brought his son along for an audition as his male lead.
The film's final shot of Antonio and Bruno walking away from the camera into the distance is an homage to many Charles Chaplin films, who was Vittorio De Sica's favourite filmmaker.
Lianella Carell was a journalist who came to interview Vittorio De Sica when they were looking for someone to play the role of Maria, but, when De Sica saw her, he instantaneously decided that she would play Maria for the movie.
Vittorio De Sica still hadn't found the ideal actor to play Bruno when filming began. It was while he was shooting the scene in which Antonio searches for his friend who can help him locate the bike that fate intervened. "I was telling Maggiorani something," he recalled, "when I turned around in annoyance at the onlookers who were crowding around me, and saw an odd-looking child with a round face, a big funny nose and wonderful lively eyes. Saint Gennaro has sent him to me, I thought. It was proof of the fact that everything was turning out right." And so little Enzo Staiola was hired on the spot to play Bruno.
Lamberto Maggiorani was very shy and embarrassed throughout the shooting as he had no actor training or would often become anxious when he couldn't do what Vittorio De Sica wanted him to do. The director, however, did not coddle him because he knew Maggiorani's real anxiety and nervousness before the camera would work well for his on-screen character.
It received an Academy Honorary Award in 1950 and, just four years after its release, was deemed the greatest film of all time by Sight & Sound magazine's poll of filmmakers and critics