Bicycle Thieves (Italian: Ladri di biciclette), also known as The Bicycle Thief, is a 1948 Italian neo-realist film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It tells the story of a poor man searching the streets of Rome for his stolen bicycle, which he needs to be able to work. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Luigi Bartolini and was adapted for the screen by Cesare Zavattini. It stars Lamberto Maggiorani as the poor man searching for his lost bicycle and Enzo Staiola as his son.
It was given an Academy Honorary Award in 1950, and, just four years after its release, was deemed the greatest film of all time by the magazine Sight & Sound‘s poll of filmmakers and critics in 1952. The film placed sixth as the greatest ever made in Sight & Sound’s latest directors’ poll, conducted in 2002, and was ranked in the top 10 of the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.
The plot of the 2007 Tamil film, Polladhavan, which features Dhanush trying to find his stolen bike, was loosely inspired by Bicycle Thieves.