Parents' Guide to

The Bicycle Thief

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Bleak black-and-white classic isn't likely to interest kids.

Movie NR 1948 89 minutes
The Bicycle Thief Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

A delicate and harrowing film that reveals a strong relationship between father and son

What do you say about a film that is quietly painful and imitates real life a little too closely. How much could neo-realism really change the world? Especially when using real life people instead of professional actors places them in a a world of public perception that does not match up their reality. Authenticity is achieved, but at what cost. Still...a moving film that is made all that more poignant by the relationship that hangs on a delicate balance between a father and his son and their bicycle.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (2):

For modern young viewers, whose idea of a classic stolen-bike tale is Pee Wee's Big Adventure, this black-and-white classic may be a hard sell. The movie isn't really meant for kids. Rather, it's a landmark depiction of poor people getting a raw deal, through no fault of their own, and running out of options, lost in a society indifferent to their plight. No big speeches, no fireworks, no CGI superheroes web-slinging to the rescue. Yes, decades have passed since 1948 audiences were moved by the film's simple power and plain style, and this cinematic landmark isn't as fresh as it once was. Still, it topped critics' 10-best-of-all-time lists and should still be seen by serious-minded audiences.

Movie Details

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