De Sica, Vittorio

(1902–1974)
   Amatinee idol in the 1930s, Vittorio De Sica transformed himself into one of the greatest film directors in cinema history. Anative of the Ciociara, the region lying between Rome and Naples, De Sica began his film career early and by 1930 had appeared in dozens of romantic comedies. He began his directing career in 1940, but it was not until his fifth film, I bambini ci guardono (The Children Are Watching Us, 1943), that De Sica showed signs of exceptional talent. In 1946, he produced the neorealist classic Sciuscia (Shoeshine), which portrayed the moving story of two young vagrant shoeshine boys in the streets of war-torn Rome. De Sica used authentic street children to ensure that his characters behaved naturally, a technique he repeated in his next film, Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thief, 1948). Ranked in 1952 as one of the 10 greatest films ever made, Ladri di biciclette tells the story of Ricci, a desperately poor Roman worker who gets a job as a bill poster. To do the job, however, he needs a bicycle and his is stolen from him on his first day at work. Together with his son Bruno, Ricci scours the streets of Rome and eventually finds the thief but cannot prove his guilt. Frantic to keep his job, Ricci steals a bicycle that has been left outside an apartment building but is caught by an angry crowd. The bicycle’s owner does not press charges, and the film ends with Ricci and Bruno walking away into the crowd. They face an uncertain future, but the bond between them has been strengthened by their ordeal. Ricci was played by a factory worker called Lamberto Maggiorani with impressive dignity and restraint, but the movie is stolen by Enzo Staiola’s Bruno, the quintessential street urchin. De Sica approached the heights of Ladri di biciclette only once more in his career. In 1951 he made Umberto D, a grim story about an aging clerical worker’s struggle against destitution and despair. As usual, De Sica used an amateur actor, a professor from the University of Florence, as his protagonist. De Sica continued to make films for more than 20 years, but although he worked with some of the world’s most talented actors, he never had more than modest critical success until 1970, when his adaptation of Giorgio Bassani’s novel Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis) won the Oscar for best foreign picture. His own performance as an actor in the 1959 film Il generale della Rovere was probably the finest of his distinguished career.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sica, Vittorio de — ► (1902 74) Director y actor cinematográfico italiano. Películas: Matrimonio a la italiana (1964) y Los girasoles (1969), entre otras …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • De Sica, Vittorio — born July 7, 1901, Sora, Italy died Nov. 13, 1974, Paris, France Italian film director and actor. He joined an acting company in 1923 and soon became a matinee idol. He appeared on screen as a leading man in a series of light comedies, and he… …   Universalium

  • De Sica, Vittorio — (1902 1974)    Stage and screen actor, director, and screenwriter. One of Italy s most prolific but also best loved actor directors, De Sica was born in Sora, a small town south of Rome, but spent his earliest years in Naples, hence his lifelong… …   Guide to cinema

  • De Sica, Vittorio — (1902 1974)    Stage and screen actor, director, and screenwriter. One of Italy s most prolific but also best loved actor directors, De Sica was born in Sora, a small town south of Rome, but spent his earliest years in Naples, hence his lifelong… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • De Sica, Vittorio — • ДЕ СИ КА (De Sica) Витторио (7.7.1901 13.11.1974)    итал. актёр, режиссёр. Род. в семье мелкого служащего. Учился в Высш. коммерч. ин те. С 1924 выступал на сцене в комедиях и водевилях. В кино с 1918, но активно снимался с 1931 (ф. Старая… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • De Sica,Vittorio — De Si·ca (də sēʹkə), Vittorio. 1901 1974. Italian filmmaker whose Bicycle Thief (1948) and Umberto D (1952) are considered classics of postwar realism. * * * …   Universalium

  • De Sica, Vittorio — ► (1902 74) Actor y director cinematográfico italiano. Uno de los máximos exponentes del neorrealismo italiano. Películas: Ladrón de bicicletas (1948), Milagro en Milán (1951), etc. * * * (7 jul. 1901, Sora, Italia–13 nov. 1974, París, Francia).… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • De Sica, Vittorio —  (1902–1974) Italian film actor and director …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Vittorio de Sica — Naissance 7 juillet 1901 Sora  Italie Nationalité(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vittorio De Sica — Nombre real Vittorio Domenico Stanislao Gaetano Sorano De Sica Nacimiento 7 de julio de 1901 Sora, Frosinone, Lacio,  Italia …   Wikipedia Español

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