Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola
Vittorio De Sica
One of the best and most influential films ever to come out of Italy, this Oscar-winning 1948 masterpiece tells its heart-rending tale with an unadorned elegance. Everyman Antonio gets a precious job pasting up posters for a new Rita Hayworth movie, a job that requires him to own a bicycle. After his bike is stolen, he spends the rest of the movie searching for it. This two-disc set from the Criterion Collection is up to the brand's typically high standards for restoration and presentation. In addition to Bicycle Thieves
(aka The Bicycle Thief
), the package includes documentaries about the film's director (Vittorio De Sica), his favorite screenwriter (Cesare Zavattini) and the Italian Neorealist movement. A booklet offers essays by, among others, De Sica, Zavattini and famed spaghetti-Western director Sergio Leone, who, as a teenager, played a small role as a priest in this film.