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By Film Threat Staff | August 12, 2002

Vittorio De Sica’s neo-realist masterpiece “Umberto D” is getting the restoration treatment for its 50th anniversary thanks to Laemmle Theatres and Rialto Pictures. The new 35mm print of the film will have an exclusive engagement at the Regent Showcase Theater in Hollywood beginning September 6th.
“Umberto D” focuses on an elderly and retired civial servant struggling against poverty while putting up with life’s little kicks in the a*s, such as the cops breaking up his pensioners’ strike, a canteen hostess catches him feeding his lunch to his dog, his boarding-house landlady threatens him with eviction and lends his room to two strangers for an afternoon tryst and pride keeps him from begging in front of the Pantheon.
Dedicated to his father (also named Umberto), De Sica considered this his favorite film. But despite international acclaim — an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay and the New York Film Critics Award for Best Foreign Film – Umberto was attacked by the Italian Minister of Culture for airing the country’s “dirty laundry” in public. Today, it’s universally considered one of the high points of both Italian neo-realism and known as the “Little Giotto” of Italian movies. Martin Scorsese has said, “As powerful as “The Bicycle Thief” was, for me, De Sica and Zavattini’s greatest achievement was “Umberto D”. . . . a great movie about a hero of everyday life. That was De Sica’s precious gift to his father. And to us.”
Visit the Rialto Pictures website for more information.

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