Shoeshine (Sciuscià) (1947)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Shoeshine (Sciuscià) Photos

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.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Entertainment One

Cast

Rinaldo Smordoni
as Giuseppe
Annielo Mele
as Raffaele
Bruno Ortensi
as Arcangeli
Aniello Mele
as Raffaele
Emilio Cigoli
as Staffera
Antonio Carlino
as L'Abruzzese
Antonio Lo Nigro
as Righetoo
Angelo D'Amico
as Siciliano
Emilio Cigoll
as Staffera
Giuseppe Spadaro
as Attorney Bonavino
Leo Garavaglia
as Commissario
Rinaldo Smerdoni
as Giuseppe
Maria Campi
as La Chiromante
Irene Smordoni
as Giuseppe's Mother
Anna Pedoni
as Nannarella
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Shoeshine (Sciuscià)

All Critics (5)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 13, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 10, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

De Sica's neorealist Oliver Twist

Full Review… | June 18, 2015
CinePassion

A keystone in a historic cinematic movement, but this release does not persuade that it equals the best of its era or its genre.

Full Review… | May 25, 2011
Slant Magazine

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Audience Reviews for Shoeshine (Sciuscià)

This drama did not engage me as much as De Sica's Bicycle Thieves. The neorealist practice of using nonprofessional actors works well enough, but many of the characters are not as distinctly drawn. Pasquale and Giuseppe work shining shoes for the lingering G.I.s in order to buy a horse. They get mixed up with Giuseppe's older brother's gang and end up in a juvenile prison. In an interesting twist of the teen crime drama norm, the younger Giuseppe, who has family, is the more hard-nosed one, while the older Pasquale, who is an orphan, is more innocent to the ways of prison. Tragically, trying to do the right thing leads Pasquale to betray Giuseppe's trust. They both encounter complications adjusting to life in prison, but ultimately their friendship is torn apart. This Italian film does not have a happy ending.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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 Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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