Installed alongside Rome Open City as the quintessential neorealist opus, Bicycle Thieves marked Vittorio De Sica’s third collaboration with scriptwriter Cesare Zavattini, and was a formative experience for Carlo Di Palma—at the time, a teenaged focus puller working under cinematographer Carlo Montuori. The film follows a struggling Roman laborer (real-life factory worker Lamberto Maggiorani) who lands an ever-elusive job, only to have the crucial instrument for that job, his bicycle, stolen. A distinct departure from the wartime backdrops that had dominated earlier neorealist works, Bicycle Thieves is an unforgettable plunge into the day-to-day world of the countless citizens struggling to survive during peacetime.