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Fri, Dec 31 | Sun, Jan 2


  • Dir. VIttorio De Sica
  • Italy
  • 1951
  • 101 min.
  • NR
  • 4K DCP

In Italian with English subtitles

  • Assistive Listening
  • Subtitled
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Holiday Classics.

Once upon a time in postwar Italy… Vittorio De Sica’s follow-up to his international triumph BICYCLE THIEVES is an enchanting neorealist fairy tale in which he combined his celebrated slice-of-life poetry with flights of graceful comedy and storybook fantasy. On the outskirts of Milan, a band of vagabonds work together to form a shantytown. When it is discovered that the land they occupy contains oil, however, it’s up to the cherubic orphan Totò (Francesco Golisano) — with some divine help — to save their community from greedy developers. Tipping their hats to the imaginative whimsy of Charles Chaplin and René Clair, De Sica and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini (adapting his own novel) craft a big-hearted ode to the nobility of everyday people. 

Restored from the original camera negative by Cineteca di Bologna and Compass Film, in collaboration with Mediaset, Infinity, Arthur Cohn and Variety Communications at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.

“Filled with astonishing special effects and slapstick stunts! Its Chaplinesque star, Francesco Golisano, is a superbly subtle physical comedian... De Sica’s celestial visions suggest that nothing short of a miracle will save those in need.” —Richard Brody, New Yorker

 “A pure fairy tale set entirely in a garbage-dump squatters’ camp...the mood is buoyant and satirical, but the social commentary comes packed in grenades.” —Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

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