Essay on Themes of The Bicycle Thief Film

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Middlebury College
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The bicycle is a movie that was staged for post-war Italy in 1949, where a bike owned by a working class man was stolen, and together with his son, they start to search for it. The director of the Film was Vittorio De Sica, which has been classified under the neorealist classic films. Antonio Ricci is the Man who had just secured a position for putting up posters, after a long period of being unemployed his bicycle is stolen (Turan, 2010). It was a post-war error, and people were doing anything they could to keep up with the expensive life in Rome and stealing was part of it as proved by the stolen bicycle in the film. The paper shall focus on various themes which include the theft, unemployment, and poverty shall be addressed.

Theft refers to the actions of stealing property belonging to other people. As depicted by the topic, the movie is based on Bicycle theft. Antonios work as a bread winner for his family was to put up posters in various parts of the city, and the Bicycle was the only means for his rapid movements in the crowded Rome (Ebert, 1999)). Unfortunately, on the first day of his work, a young boy who had been talking to some old mature men jumped on his bike and started to pedal away. Antonio at that moment was on a post trying to place a poster when the incidence happened. He tried to chase the boy but lost him when he diverted and followed some tunnels. This situation appears the boy was an expert in stealing bicycles and was an apprentice to the men he was talking to before committing the crime. Antonio had to do the search for himself assisted with his son to recover the only source of transport he was using to keep his job. Another theme was unemployment which is seen all over the movie scenes and storyline. Antonio is the first case we encounter as shown that he had been without employment for months and had just secured a position for hanging posters. It was a post-war error, and people were struggling to get any, that even job for just hanging posters was considered prestigious, that Antonio needed to work hard to keep (Mathew, 2015). Another occasion is where as Antonio was heading with his wife, she told him that she wanted to see a fortune teller. Antonio knew that fortune tellers do not tell any truth and they lie for money to naive people. It is unemployment that causes people to take up job such as fortune tellers to supply for their daily needs.

Finally the theme of poverty, the Post-war error was characterized by individuals living at meager standards. Out of poverty, people decide to be thieves and fortune tellers just to meet their daily needs. Antonio's wife had to collect the beddings which were part of his bride price to enable her husband to acquire a bicycle that he should use as means of transport in his daily hanging poster job. Poverty pushed his wife to seek a word from the fortune teller that he will get work, she was ready to pay just to hear comforting words from the lying fortune teller. After a long chase for his bike with his son, they settle in a restaurant to have a meal (Turan, 2010). As Antonio was drowning himself in his win, his son focuses on a wealthier child on his side eating a large pasta on a plate. After noticing his sons action, he informs him to afford to eat like that you need to earn at least a million. This was an evidence of widespread poverty, and many people were making very little.

In conclusion, the bicycle thief is a movie that is revered for its capacity to show the sufferings encountered across the globe after the post-war. Poverty, unemployment, and theft were some of the issues eminent in the film and has been the themes easily noticeable.


Ebert, R. (1999). The Bicycle Thief. Retrieved 2017, from

Mathew. (2015). Bicycle Thieves (1948). Retrieved 2017, from, K. (2010, January 08). Review: 'The Bicycle Thief' Retrieved June 23, 2017, from

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