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Antonio Ricci is a man living outside of Rome, and just like many others he is trying to find work in order to put food on the table. But, more than that, Antonio hopes for a better life for himself and his family. One that can pull him out of their poverty. Antonio gets a job, but when his bicycle, which he needs for his job, is stolen he must go on a fruitless hunt for it.
Bruno Ricci is Antonio and Maria’s son. A young boy, he is already working at a gas station in order to bring in money for his poverty stricken family. After his father’s bicycle is stolen, he heads out with his dad to find the bike. He cares deeply for his father, and must witness his descent as the hours go by and he is unable to find his bicycle.
Maria Ricci is Antonio’s wife and Bruno’s mother. She is a woman who is willing to do whatever it takes in order to help her family live and get out of their poverty. We see this as she sells their sheets in order to buy Antonio’s bicycle back. We also see her as a woman of faith, as she visits a holy woman to get guidance for her husband getting work and her family. She’s very much in love with Antonio, but we see how the strains of poverty affect their relationship.
Baiocco is a friend of Antonio’s who helps him and Bruno to find the bicycle that has been stolen from him. He is a man that understands how the city’s underbelly works, and Antonio comes to him because he knows where to look for the bicycle in order for him to have a chance of getting it back.
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Bicycle Thieves (also called The Bicycle Thief) study guide contains a biography of director Vittorio De Sica, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.