Bicycle Thieves: rarely the stakes are so direct, simple, and elegantly presented as in Vittorio De Sica’s towering achievement. The drama is real, palpable, believable. It never slips into melodrama because the sense of reality is absolute; one cannot shake the feeling that an uncountable number of similar stories are happening at the same time, and that is as heartbreaking as the story itself. The downward spiral the main character goes through manifests itself in many different ways, in particular in his relationship with his kid; in that sense, the performances of Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiola, as father and son, are crucial, genuine and extremely efficient. The film has a tight pace, not a moment wasted by editor Eraldo Da Roma; Carlo Montuori’s images are simple but very beautiful. Alessandro Cicognini musical score is also fabulous, a great match.