Shoeshine (1946)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama


Shoeshine (1946) Poster

Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.


8/10
6,642


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  • Shoeshine (1946)
  • Franco Interlenghi and Rinaldo Smordoni in Shoeshine (1946)
  • Franco Interlenghi and Rinaldo Smordoni in Shoeshine (1946)
  • Shoeshine (1946)
  • Vittorio De Sica, Sergio Amidei, Franco Interlenghi, Rinaldo Smordoni, and Cesare Zavattini in Shoeshine (1946)
  • Shoeshine (1946)

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28 March 2019 | lee_eisenberg
10
| Italy at a turning point
With World War II over and the Fascist Party abolished, Italy was now set to address its recent past, as well as social issues affecting the country. Vittorio De Sica famously did this with "The Bicycle Thief", about a man witnessing the ambient poverty after his bicycle gets stolen. But a previous movie in which he focused on poverty was 1946's "Sciuscià" ("Shoeshine" in English), the first ever movie to win Best Foreign Language Film (at the time an honorary award). The protagonists are some boys arrested for petty crime and thrown into a brutal jail. Once inside, life becomes more dangerous than it had been before.

De Sica pulls no punches in showing the jail's cruelty. The era isn't identified, but it doesn't need to be: the point is that life will not be easy for the majority of Italy's citizens. This exercise in neorealism shows the high-quality direction that Italian cinema was to take in the coming years. I hope to see more of his movies.

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