Classic Movie Review: Umberto D (1952)


Title: Umberto D
Release Date: January 20, 1952
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Production Company: Rizzoli | De Sica | Amato
Summary/Review:

This movie is categorized as Italian neorealist which translates to meaning depressing AF!  Umberto Domenico Ferrariis (Carlo Battisti) an elderly man living on a pension and threatened by his landlady (Lina Gennari) to pay his back rent or face eviction. Over the course of the film we learn that she is getting married and wants to redecorate Umberto’s room to include in her upgrade apartment.  The gentrification theme feels very relevant.

Umberto’s only friend is the young maid, Maria (Maria-Pia Casilio), who is facing her own struggles as she has become pregnant by one of the two soldiers she’s dating. Umberto goes to the hospital to be treated for tonsillitis, but also to enjoy a few days of free meals and to sleep without bedbugs.  Returning home he has to search for his beloved dog Flike in a harrowing scene at the pound, where less fortunate pups are being brought to a gas chamber.  Umberto attempts begging and giving away Flike but finds himself unable to do either, and the movie ends ambiguously.

As sad as it is, Umberto D is a beautiful and human depiction of an unfortunately all too common real life struggle.

Rating: ****

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