Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio de Sica was one of Italy's greatest film directors and actors.

Born in 1901, he grew up in poverty in Napoli. As a young man, De Sica worked as an office clerk to help support his family, but he soon discovered that acting was a more satisfying escape from the drudgery of youth. Dashingly handsome, he began his career as a leading man on the stage and then in black-and-white romantic comedies. Think: the Cary Grant of the Mediterranean.

However, as World War II came to an end and Italy underwent a social revolution, De Sica’s interests turned to the other side of the camera. The transformation began when he met screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, a leader in the Italian Neorealist movement. Free of political pressures for the first time, artists were able to explore Italy’s social order, delving into the stark dichotomy of poverty and wealth typical to the time.

De Sica and Zavattini began an important artistic collaboration that yielded a number of classic neorealistic films, including the Academy Award-winning Ladri di Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves), Sciuscià (Shoeshine), and many more.

Today, De Sica's films are known for their heart-rending insight into the beauty, tragedy, and comedy of the human condition.

Lamberto Maggiorani and Enzo Staiola in Vittorio De Sica’s BIC

Sophia Loren in Vittorio De Sica’s GOLD OF NAPLES (1954). Cour