Umberto D (1952) - Rotten Tomatoes

Umberto D (1952)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Frequently mentioned on lists of masterpieces of modern cinema, Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D. transforms a simple character study into a painfully poignant drama. Umberto is an aging former civil servant, now retired on his scant government pension. He spends his time in his tiny room in Rome, with only his longtime pet dog for companionship. His lonely life only grows worse when his limited income forces him to fall behind on his rent, leading his landlady to threaten him with eviction. He makes a desperate attempt to raise the needed money and protest the unfair treatment of senior citizens to the government, but he receives little response. His one chance at human contact, through brief conversations with a pregnant servant, proves sadly disappointing. Indeed, Umberto slowly becomes convinced that the situation may be hopeless, and he ultimately considers committing suicide. Considered one of the high points of Italian neo-realist cinema, Umberto D. provides the ultimate example of the movement's unadorned, observational style, which emphasizes the reality of events without calling attention to their emotional or dramatic impact. The unschooled, natural performances also contribute to the film's feeling of verisimilitude, particularly the lead performance by non-actor Carlo Battisti.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Cesare Zavattini, Vittorio De Sica
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 21, 2003
Nelson Entertainment


Carlo Battisti
as Umberto Ferrari
Lina Gennari
as Landlady
Elena Rea
as Sister
Memmo Carotenuto
as Voice of Light
Ileana Simova
as Surprised Woman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Umberto D

Critic Reviews for Umberto D

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (9)

It's hard to think of a more remarkable tribute to the resilience of the human spirit than the one Umberto D. puts on the screen.

Full Review… | September 5, 2002
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

One of the great humanist cinema works: a portrayal of age, poverty and simple lives in postwar Rome that is both luminous and heartbreaking.

Full Review… | July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

This simple, almost Chaplinesque story of a man fighting to preserve his dignity is even more moving for its firm grasp of everyday activities.

Full Review… | June 24, 2002
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Heroes like Umberto D. are hard to find, and your life will be better for having met him.

June 1, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

It is said that at one level or another, Chaplin's characters were always asking that we love them. Umberto doesn't care if we love him or not. That is why we love him.

Full Review… | May 13, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A slow-moving, gentle movie about the harsh facts of life.

Full Review… | April 4, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Umberto D


Another neorealist masterpiece made by Vittorio de Sica, it is a truly heartfelt and unforgettable portrait of a poverty-stricken life in postwar Italy that avoids any sort of easy sentimentality and needs no effort to make us love and care about its struggling character.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

the realism and simplicity of this film is penetrating. probably even better than de sica's slightly more well known film "bicycle thieves", umberto just has a charm that helps you resonate with his plight. the end of the film comes upon us a bit too abruptly, but the rest of the film is nearly perfect.

danny d

Super Reviewer


Ah, Italian Neorealism. This film was alright. The bit with the dog at the end nearly killed me. Ravage a human monstrously and I will be fine. Injure a dog, and I'm coming after your blood....

Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

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