The ending is happy, but the general effect of the film is disturbing, so compelling is De Sica's description of a man's solitude.
Stream Umberto D.
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The credo of Italy's fabled neorealist movement was that movies rooted in real, unadorned experience carry more dramatic impact than studio concoctions can dream of, and this 1952 masterpiece exemplifies that argument brilliantly.
Universally appealing story that plays as well now as it did on opening day a half-century ago. Maybe better.
This is truly a great film, recently celebrated at length in "My Voyage to Italy," Martin Scorsese's documentary about Italian cinema.
Creates magic of a completely different sort. It makes the unlikeliest subject unforgettable, finding drama, beauty, even poetry in simple things and simple lives.
It's too bad that the film is sporadically crude (a moment of suicidal angst is illustrated with a shove-zoom to the pavement), prone to mega-Italian extroversion, and far too in love with stupid pet tricks.
A film that lets life flood into our souls.
De Sica's 1952 neorealist masterpiece; it's a stark snapshot in which all is revealed about the "daily life of mankind," as the director once offered by way of description.