From now until Sunday we're tipping our hat to movie dads in honor Father's Day, and to start the countdown we're going with one of the most depressing films ever made (but don't worry, they'll lighten up over the next few days). That's Vittorio de Sica's 1948 neo-realist masterpiece The Bicycle Thief (or Bicycle Thieves, as it's actually translated). It's post-war Italy, and Antonio Ricci is desperate for work so he can support his family. When he manages to get a menial job selling advertizing bills, it requires a bicycle, which is immediately stolen from him his first day on the job. Ricci then spends the movie tracking down the bicycle all over Rome, dragging his young son Bruno with him from place to place. I'm not sure how great a dad Ricci actually is in this movie (he's not the nicest guy in the world), but his desperation to keep his job and take care of his family is deeply felt, and hey, he's trying everything he possibly can. There's few other films that convey the despair poverty can impart on a family like this one, and for its unsparing look at reality, this is a classic you can't miss.
!972 Re-release trailer: