The Bicycle Thief

bicycle-thieves-image.jpgThis film told the story of a man(Antoine) struggling to support his family. He obtains a job and the only requirement is that he has his own bike. After obtaining the bike he goes to work for his first day. Soon enough, his bike is stolen from him and his life comes crashing down. He builds a search party and they desperately try to find the bike. Without his bike, they will surely starve. After coming up empty handed, Antoine and his son are devastated. In one final attempt, Antoine steals another man’s bike, but is quickly caught. Only to be released because they don’t want his son to be fatherless.

I think this story tells a lot about human nature and greed. Antoine was a kind man who only wanted to help his family and his life was turned upside down because some thief wanted to make a couple of bucks. The bike was worth 100x more to Antoine than to the thief. And to cap it off, Antoine attempts to steal another man’s bike at the end of the film. If that doesn’t show a critique of human nature then I don’t know what will. Antoine just lived how awful and life changing getting his bike stolen was, yet he was willing to do that to another man. He just wanted to pass his problem off to the next guy and didn’t think about the next guy at all. I think that’s very true for people in the world.

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6 thoughts on “The Bicycle Thief

  1. Nice review, I agree with many of the points you made. You know, when he stole the other man’s bike I was extremely disappointed in him because that was a major turning point where he had reached a far enough point of desperation where he had turned into the bicycle thief for stooping down to his thief’s level. But I think like you said that just goes to reflect human nature and that, even though he tried so hard to make the right choices throughout the film, he isn’t perfect. He is a human just like the rest of us, so he will make mistakes but he only ever had good intentions to support his family.

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  2. I was also disappointed in Antoine but for a totally different reason. When life gives you problems, you should work towards fixing them, not take them lying down. He of course tried to fix his bike problem but it was so passive. He could have asked one of his friends for a loan or decide a lot earlier to steal a bike. He had more than just his wellbeing in his hands, but his whole family’s. Even his wife made more of an effort than he did. When they needed money for the bike, she went and ripped all the sheets off the bed. I think this all goes to show how bad it is to keep secrets from your spouse. She may have had an even better solution to his problem, all he had to do was tell her the truth.

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  3. I liked that you wrote that Antoine just wanted to pass his problems off to the next guy. Most people do believe in this today. People do not see the good in other people and think that everyone only thinks of themselves. However, I do believe in the good of people. I do not see it that Antoine was trying to steal a bike to make it someone else’s problem, rather I saw it as Antoine trying to find a way to provide for his family. Everything he did was for his family. He wanted the bike in the first place to obtain a job that required a bike. With the job he can make money to afford food for his family. I do not think that Antoine considers the problem of the man whose bike he tried to steal, but rather was concerned with the well-being of his family.

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  4. While watching this film I didn’t understand the message at first, I was just thinking about how sad his life was. Though after reading your review I’ve realized that Antoine came full circle. The man who stole his bike was poor, and needed a way to survive. What Antoine didn’t know is that he would soon become this desperate man willing to do anything to get this bike back. This story is a wonderful tale of the vicious cycle money puts us through. This is a great review on a very interesting movie.

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  5. Personally, I do agree that the movie does refer to human greed and nature. However, I must also point out that desperation makes bad choices. We didn’t know much of the thief, or even if that boy WAS the thief. The thief probably was in a similar situation of Antoine (considering there was a lot of people looking for jobs and trying to provide for their families) and needed the money as well.
    I think that Antoine, as the protagonist, was a pitiful character that was based off of desperation. He made us feel like we were stolen from and asked us what would we do if that was us?

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  6. I agree with the points you bring up in your post, especially when you talk about the worth of the bike to Antonio compared to the guys who stole it. I think that in this instance the bike did mean a lot to Antonio, however we never truly figure out what happens to his bike, we don’t see it at the black market where they spend hours looking for it, possibly the guys that stole Antonio’s bike needed it just as badly or even more than Antonio, we will never know. Moreover, I think this could possible tie in to the ending of this film and the second point you make when you talk about this reflecting human nature and people in our world today. I completely agree when you bring up the question that Antonio did not think about the next guy he was stealing the bike from and he was basically just passing the problem on to the next person. Although, I personally think that this portrayed the difficulty of life during Post-World War II in Italy during this time, and the idea that owning something that is a privilege like a bike could be the reason why you do or do not have a job. Furthermore, the way this film ends we only see Antonio and Bruno gloomily walking home, but possibly when they reach home cops with be at their home with their bike and the caught thieves, we do not know. This just shows the struggle, hassle, and hardship of life during this period in history, a reflection of our own reality.

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