#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.