Shoeshine

  • 1946
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Prison

Along with THE BICYCLE THIEF and UMBERTO D, this film is one of the three neorealist masterpieces produced through the collaborative efforts of director Vittorio De Sica and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. Like so many of the films of the neorealist movement, SHOESHINE is simply real life projected on a screen. After spying on a pair of shoeshine boys for...read more

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Along with THE BICYCLE THIEF and UMBERTO D, this film is one of the three neorealist masterpieces produced through the collaborative efforts of director Vittorio De Sica and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. Like so many of the films of the neorealist movement, SHOESHINE is simply real life

projected on a screen. After spying on a pair of shoeshine boys for a year in war-torn Rome, De Sica and Zavattini decided to bring their story to the screen with two nonprofessionals in the lead roles. Giuseppe (Rinaldo Smordoni) and Pasquale (Franco Interlenghi) are waifs who survive by

harassing American soldiers--the only ones in postwar Italy with spare change--into spending a few lire to have their boots cleaned. Despite their bleak surroundings, these shoeshine boys still have innocent dreams and hopes, and, in fact, are saving their earnings to buy a handsome white horse.

When Giuseppe's brother approaches them with a black market opportunity to make some quick money, they jump at the chance, buy their dream horse, and refuse to let it out of their sight, even going so far as to sleep in the stable with it. This brief moment in paradise is short-lived, however, and

they are arrested, taken to a reformatory, and locked away. The longer they stay in their damp, vermin-infested cells, the more hardened the youngsters become. A powerful indictment of the Italian penal system and, on a larger scale, the brutal inevitability of the loss of innocence.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Along with THE BICYCLE THIEF and UMBERTO D, this film is one of the three neorealist masterpieces produced through the collaborative efforts of director Vittorio De Sica and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. Like so many of the films of the neorealist movemen… (more)

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