Umberto D.

Umberto D. is the essence of what André Bazin described in De Sica as his “inexhaustible love of his characters.” Umberto Dominico Ferrari is an elderly gentleman who is by cruel stages being evicted from the rooming house where he has lived for twenty years. From a street demonstration by brave old pensioners, to Umberto's clever if pathetic ruses to get a meal for himself and his dog, to his compassion for the pregnant maid, also a victim of the rapacious, social-climbing landlady, the film describes the situation of those whom society has cast off and can barely stand to watch as they die. Someone has to be sacrificed to the striving toward postwar prosperity. De Sica frames the city often in Renaissance perspective, as if to show how shabby humanity has become by comparison. Like the bad opera whose strains waft through the boarding house, culture mocks the living.

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