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A cornerstone of Italian neo-realism, De Sica's drama of survival in Italy's post-war depression earned a special Oscar for its affecting power. Shooting in the streets and alleys of Rome, De Sica uses the real-life environment to frame his moving story of a desperate father (Maggiorani) whose new job is threatened when a thief steals his bicycle. Too poor to buy another, he and his son (Staiola) take to the streets in an impossible search for his bike. Cast with non-actors, this landmark work mixes authenticity and lyricism to unsurpassed effect.