Thief or Thieves?

In America, seemingly, it’s called THE BICYCLE THIEF. In Britain, BICYCLE THIEVES. In Italy, LADRI DI BICICLETTE. The Italian title is correct, the British one and accurate translation, the US one an abberation.

Since we spend the film following two characters, father and son, the plural FEELS right, but of course only the father is a thief, the other thief is the guy who stole HIS bike.

Eventually I suppose everyone in Rome will have stolen everyone else’s bike, but meanwhile here is the new Blu-ray from Arrow, which has a video essay I made with ace editor Alex Starr.

Bicycle Thieves [Blu-ray]

2 Responses to “Thief or Thieves?”

  1. Maybe it’s just base nationalism on my part, but I tend to prefer British translated titles to American ones. It was with a pang for more than the loss of a fine film-maker when I read recently that Jiri Menzel, director of CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS, had died; his most famous film was always CLOSELY OBSERVED TRAINS to me. ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS grabs me less than LIFT TO THE SCAFFOLD, and don’t get me started on the accurate but ungainly MY NIGHT AT MAUD’S…

  2. Does Maud’s have a different UK title?

    Yeah, I had thought Observed was the universal English translation — I feel like Watched came along more recently, but maybe I just never read anything from the US about it. Time for a rewatch, I think.

    Lift to the Scaffold IS a little ambiguous. “Scaffold” is less explicit, and “Lift” could be a verb. I picture somebody giving a child a hoist up so they can see better.

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