FOR its final screening of the season, Skipton Film Club will present Vittorio De Sica’s classic and ground breaking 1948 film Bicycle Thieves.

The film, often cited for introducing a radical new style of film making (neo realism) to its contemporary audiences, will be shown 5.15pm this Sunday at the Plaza Cinema in Skipton.

Bicycle Thieves is the story of ordinary people surviving in the harsh environment of post war Rome. In a landscape with few ways of earning a living, having a bike can lead a family out of poverty. As the film shows, however, to have one stolen can be disastrous leading to despair.

Skipton Film Club member Paul Valentine said: “De Sica’s film was innovative in that it shot its action on the streets of Rome – not the artificial settings of the classic Hollywood studio system.

“Its stars are not professional actors – but cast from the society and streets depicted. Following the search for the lost bike the film takes the audience with its main protagonists – a father and son, brilliantly played by Lamberto Maggiorani and especially Enzo Staiola.

“The film grips us from its very first shots – of a physically and economically destroyed landscape - to its heart breaking final scenes.

“Bicycle Thieves is a film which will live in the memory of all who have seen it – repeated viewings do not diminish its power. It is one of the greatest films ever made.”