Shoeshine (Sciuscià)


Shoeshine (Sciuscià)

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 6


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,026
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Movie Info

Classic, heartbreaking neo-realist drama of two shoeshine boys who struggle to survive in post-World War II Italy. Their involvement in the black market eventually gets them sent to a reformatory, where the system works to crush their friendship and make them betray each other.


Critic Reviews for Shoeshine (Sciuscià)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (6)

Audience Reviews for Shoeshine (Sciuscià)

  • Aug 12, 2013
    Short and concise but unmemorable, 'Shoe-Shine' doesn't quite have the power of some of De Sica's other work yet it still manages to provide an unflinching look at life among children in post-World War II Italy all the way up to its final, haunting scene. Boy, is that one depressing ending.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2012
    In "Shoe Shine," Pasquale(Franco Interlenghi) and Giuseppe(Rinaldo Smordoni) are two boys in postwar Italy who work a variety of odd jobs in order to save up to buy a horse. One of those jobs involves selling American blankets to a psychic(Maria Campi). While there, the boys become unintentionally part of a robbery that also ends up giving them enough cash for their horse. The bad news is that this also brings them to the attention of the police who put them in juvenile prison in hopes of getting the names of their adult confederates out of them. "Shoe Shine" is a very moving, yet also occasionally playful, film that also contains a very serious message. If, Bill Hicks notwithstanding, you feel that children are the future(and I think that's why a psychic is involved in the story), then the film makes an excellent case for the authorities squandering Italy's future by treating its orphan children so poorly in jailing and punishing so many, instead of trying to care for them. This is at a time when children were forced to grow up too quickly, anyway, while not being educated in any meaningful way. At least, Pasquale and Giuseppe have an eye on their future by buying a horse as an investment, and not just to ride on.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2011
    Usually I avoid any & all old B/W foreign films but after reading the description I thought this movie was gonna be awesome.It wasn't awesome but it was an OK movie.The 1st half made it seem like juvenile hall was a nice place to be, A place to make new friends & be with old 1s.What really spoiled this movie is that it really never picked up until the last 20 minutes & what's even worse was the ending
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2011
    The film's title is somewhat misleading, suggesting a tale of shoeshine boys scraping out a living in the streets. Actually, that's just the exposition -- at its core, this is a tragedy about two boys who bond via a horse, and then are divided by a reformatory. The score is too unsubtle at times, but the black and white cinematography is exquisite. The untrained young actors are quite affecting, and if you have a soft spot for crying children (and who doesn't?), grab some Kleenex beforehand.
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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