Years and Movies: 1948

The best film of 1948, according to FilmGourmand, was recognized as "Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves)". The director is Vittorio De Sica.

The script was written by a group of screenwriters led by Cesare Zavattini, who at that time was a member of the Italian Communist Party. The script was based on the novel of the same name by the then little-known writer Luigi Bartolini.

Not a single Italian film company wanted to fund the filming of the film in this scenario. Vittorio De Sica was forced to raise money for the implementation of this project by his friends. It was possible to collect 133 thousand dollars (equivalent to about one and a half million dollars today). In this regard, non-professional actors were invited to the main roles. The lead actor, Lamberto Maggiorani, was a simple turner in a factory, and his wife was played by a journalist. True, to voice the dialogues of the protagonist, De Sica attracted a professional actor, for which he was subsequently criticized by Luchino Visconti.

But not only Visconti criticized the film. Even the author of the novel - Luigi Bartolini - was very dissatisfied with the film, accusing the authors of the film that they perverted the spirit of his novel, since the main character in the book is an intellectual who represents the middle class and not the worker.

A writer dissatisfied with the way his literary work is screened is more a rule than an exception. Such writers form a long, long row, in which Ken Kesey ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), and Stephen King ("The Shining"), and the Strugatsky Brothers ("Stalker"), and Vladimir Bogomolov ("In August 44"), and many others. Perhaps only Ira Levin was satisfied with the film adaptation of his novel ("Rosemary's Baby").

There were other criticisms of the painting. So, some Italian critics called the film a "Marxist parable," in which the Italian people are depicted in an unsightly light. And critics of left-wing views, on the contrary, noted that the film was "too Chaplinean" and lacked social criticality in relation to bourgeois society.

But still, the vast majority of viewers and experts enthusiastically received the film. Sometimes "Bicycle Thieves" is called the pinnacle of, if not all of Italian cinema, then at least of such a direction as Italian neorealism.

In his review of this film, written in 1999, that is, more than half a century after the film was released, Roger Ebert, who rated the film with 4 out of 4 stars and included it in his list of "Great Movies", wrote: "The Bicycle Thief" is so well-entrenched as an official masterpiece that it is a little startling to visit it again after many years and realize that it is still alive and has strength and freshness. Given an honorary Oscar in 1949, routinely voted one of the greatest films of all time, revered as one of the foundation stones of Italian neorealism, it is a simple, powerful film about a man who needs a job."

Outstanding Soviet film director Marlen Khutsiev wrote: "We with my friend Felix Mironer went to the cinema.... The poster read: "Bicycle Thieves." We came out of the hall shocked. The picture made a deafening impression. What did we know about this country, alien to us? That the Italians were our enemies, fascists, that they had a duce, that they fought a war in Abyssinia. And in this film we saw ordinary people who are in poverty, looking for work, love, hope."

The film received 18 film awards, including the most prestigious: Oscar, Golden Globes, BAFTA, Danish BODIL, a special jury prize at the Locarno International Film Festival.

The film paid off at the box office, because only in the first year of demonstration in the USA alone, box office receipts tripled the cost of its production. 74% of IMDB and Kinopoisk users around the world gave this masterpiece Vittorio De Sica a rating of 8 or higher.

Considering all the above listed indicators of the film, according to the FilmGourmand Methodology, its rating is set at 10.155, so it took 31st place in the Golden Thousand.

Thus, the best film of 1948 was a film that almost with documentary accuracy depicted the life of an ordinary people in post-war Italy.

What events characterize this 48th year?

- Indian pacifist and leader Mahatma Gandhi is shot by Nathuram Godse in New Delhi (India).
- An independent state of Israel was formed. The first Arab-Israeli war began immediately.
- In Albania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia the socialist transformations were performed.
- In the north of the Korean peninsula independent Korean People-Democratic Republic, led by Kim Il Sung formed. In the south of the peninsula the Republic of Korea was proclaimed.
- In the USSR, in the city of Ashgabat, the capital of Soviet Turkmenistan, there was a strong earthquake, 110 thousand people died.
- The so-called "First Berlin crisis“ caused by a separate monetary reform carried out in western zones of Germany and Berlin, and the reciprocal steps of the Soviet administration in the form of blocking all transport routes to West Berlin.
- Pro-communist forces in Indonesia attempted to carry out a socialist revolution and proclaim a Soviet republic. Government forces have firmly suppressed the attempt. About 8 thousand participants of the revolution and its leaders were destroyed.
- US President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan, according to which $ 100 billion (in 2016 prices) was provided to 16 Western European countries. One of the main objectives of the "Marshall Plan" proclaimed opposition to the spread of communism.
- In the USSR, the most massive deportation of Lithuanian residents was carried out: more than 40 thousand people were forcibly taken to Siberia.
- For the first time, after a 12-year break, the V Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz (Switzerland) and the XIV Summer Olympic Games in London (Great Britain) were held.

In addition to the film "Bicycle Thieves", the top ten films of 1948, according to FilmGourmand, included the following films:
- Hamlet, by Laurence Olivier, UK. Movie's Rating - 9,982; 39th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, by John Huston, USA. Movie's Rating - 8,681; 250th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Germania anno zero (Germany Year Zero), by Roberto Rossellini, Italy. Movie's Rating - 8,417; 353rd Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Первоклассница (First-Year Student), by Ilya Frez, USSR. Movie's Rating - 8,072; 619th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Rope, by Alfred Hitchcock, USA. Movie's Rating - 7,995; 713th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- The Search, by Fred Zinnemann, Switzerland. Movie's Rating - 7,962; 758th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Letter from an Unknown Woman, by Max Ophüls, USA. Movie's Rating - 7,955; 778th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Yoidore tenshi 醉いどれ天使 (Drunken Angel), by Akira Kurosawa, Japan. Movie's Rating - 7,791; 989th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- The Red Shoes, by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, UK