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Shoeshine (1946)


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I came across this film after studying the career of director Vittorio De Sica after I screened his masterpiece " Bicycle Thieves".   Shoeshine is another film he directed in the Neorealist movement of Italy.  The beginning of the plot from wiki:

" Two friends, Giuseppe Filippucci (Rinaldo Smordoni) and Pasquale Maggi (Franco Interlenghi), test-ride horses. Though they are saving to purchase a horse, it is difficult for them to afford one, as they are only living off their income from shining shoes in the streets of Rome.

One day Giuseppe's older brother, Attilio, visits the boys and tells them that Panza (a fence) has some work for them. Pasquale brings Giuseppe along to meet Panza, who gives them two blankets to sell. Giuseppe and Pasquale bring the blankets to a fortune teller, who buys them. After the sale, Panza, Attilio, and another man burst into the fortune teller's house, posing as policemen. They accuse the fortune teller of handling stolen goods, and finding Giuseppe and Pasquale, force them out and pretend to take them into custody. Attilio tells the boys to go away and keep quiet, letting them keep the blanket money (2,800 lira) as well as 3,000 additional lira. With this money, the boys have enough to finally buy a horse. "

The film was excellently directed by De Sica, cinematography by Anchise Brizzi and music scoring by Alessandro Cicognini.  I felt the middle part of the film was a little slow but it picked up steam and had one of the saddest endings I've seen in a film.   Its a great production and a must see for fans of Neorealist films.  I rate this one a 8 out of 10...



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