Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb (#90)

#90: AFI’s Swing Time (1936) vs. IMDb’s The Bicycle Thief (1948)

I ran into the same quandary with #90 as I did with #91 last week (Sophie’s Choice vs. The Apartment): do I pick the movie I enjoyed more or the movie I think is better? In my head, I know The Bicycle Thief is the better movie that Swing Time. It’s an Italian film; the roles played by non-actors (unbelievable given how good everyone is) set in post WWII Italy. The movie is bleak and realist. I had seen it before in a film class in college and thought it was depressing then.

Still depressing 20 years later.

Then I watch Swing Time – arguably Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ greatest film (of the ten they made together). It’s light-hearted and a joy to watch.  Here’s a clip. The whole dance, but especially the last 30 seconds, is mesmerizing:

So once again I’m faced with the dilemma: choose the movie I know is better or the one I  really enjoy? This time I have to go with the one I know is better. So I choose The Bicycle Thief, even though it’s so dreary…

Finally IMDb wins one! It’s been a while. Score is AFI – 8, IMDb – 3. Next week: Sixth Sense vs. Braveheart.


One thought on “Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb (#90)

  1. You think “Bicycle Thieves” is dreary? Oh wait, yea, it is. Dreary, but 100% incredible. Maybe the greatest movie ever.

    BTW – fun fact…It’s actually “Bicycle thieves” not “Bicycle Thief.” This is often mis-written. Thematically the name (thieves) makes a lot more sense too.

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