An old man who can barely make ends meet and who is continually under the threat of eviction, is admitted to hospital, leaving behind his faithful companion, Flik the dog. When he eventually comes out of hospital, he no longer finds Flik at home and has to seek him in the local dog pound.
Again under the more urgent threat of eviction, the old man considers begging, but his dignity prevents him. Having decided to die with Flik, he reaches a level crossing, but the dog flees.
As powerful as ‘The Bicycle Thief’ was, for me, De Sica and Zavattini’s greatest achievement together was Umberto D….a great movie about a hero of everyday life. That was De Sica’s precious gift to his father. And to us – Martin Scorsese