Bicycle Thieves ★★★★★

Lamberto Maggiorani (who plays the lead role of Antonio) was laid off from his job as a factory worker shortly after the film was complete.  The factory required budget cuts and decided to fire Maggiorani because everyone assumed he was a millionaire movie star when he actually made only 600,000 lira (a little over 30,000 US dollars today, counting inflation).  He pretty much spent the rest of his life as a bricklayer desperately trying but failing to land more acting gigs; even de Sica wouldn’t rehire him.  Eventually, he died poor, having never regained the success of his first role.

And that is more depressing than the entire film.

nick wibert liked this review