header image

Umberto D

“For those of you who have yet to post ANYTHING, you’ve had lots of fair warning as to the requirements and deadlines. I can only assume that your motivation for taking this class is not grade oriented…”

Who could that be directed towards…?


I’m sure like most of my classmates like myself leave everything for last minute. It’s sad that this is my first post for this entire class except for the welcome post which wasn’t even posted by me. Now that I got that out of the way, I’ll give my late impressions of Umberto D.

Umberto D is the first neorealist movie I’ve seen, or perhaps I have seen some but I didn’t know what the word meant. This movie reflects the hardships that were faced by the people of Europe, particularly Italy as the setting of the movie suggests. The characters are likely to be fake. At the beginning of the movie it is hard to distinguish who is Umberto. There is a crowd of people protesting and all of them seem to have some sort of solidarity against the local government. The purpose of their protest seemed to be the desire to raise pension wages. As the riots clear, it becomes obvious who Umberto D is and what kind of problems he has, debt. The story begins to follow Umberto and the audience is given hints that he is a debtor. The story develops really well. It introduces the antagonist Antonia the landlord to whom Umberto owes rent and who is the source of his problems and later depression. Maria, a servant of Antonia seems to be Umberto’s onlyre friend but she has problems of her own because she’s pregnant, without trying to figure out which of the two soldiers she slept with really knocked her up.

The story continues in the neorealist view, Umberto can’t raise money for his landlord who continues to threaten to kick him out. What a bitch…man. That’s how it is in the true world, people want money and they aren’t nice. The post war period also played a big part on the behavior of many characters, which seemed real and lifelike under stressful living conditions.

Umberto does eventually get kicked out, prostitutes rent out his room along with their clients and Umberto is left without a house. He does go to the local hospital before he gets kicked out to buy himself time. The hospital seemed to be filled with dishonest people who just tried to save money and with Umberto who tried to save money to actually have a place to live.

The ending of the movie was interesting. I expected Umberto and his dog Flick to get ran over by the incoming train. The dog apparently didn’t want to die and ran for his life when the train was coming. Umberto was disappointed, since his only other close companion did not want to die with him.

Anyway, interesting movie. It seems that as the movies  progress from the 1930’s towards the end of our class’ time line, they tend to become more interesting, probably because of new genres or styles of film are coming out. I can definitely see a link between some contemporary movies that have depressive themes, but I cannot name any off the top of my head.

Thoughts on this are welcome. Commenting will only help you for getting one out of the four out of the way and will help me as well. Hope you enjoyed my boring thoughts.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

~ by Pawel Forfa on October 13, 2011.

7 Responses to “Umberto D”

  1. I definitely agree with you when you say that it was an interesting movie. I also expected Umberto and Flick to die at the end. But it didn’t happen. The ending still seemed realistic though, like all the other scenes in the movie. I liked the fact that the movie was kept realistic. Even though Umberto and Flick didn’t die, the ending basically showed that Umberto is going to deal with his situation and move on in life with his only companion. That’s what happens in everyday life. With all the problems that we face, we learn to deal wiith them and just overcome the barriers that face.

    Another point that you mention is that you think that the films keep getting interesting as we progess through the timeline. I also agree on that. Yea, it’s probably because as the years go by, filmmakers learned more new techniques and gained more experience when it came to making movies. The techniques applied make these films seem more interesting.

  2. ummmmmmm… nice writes.. ok.. i agree that the last scene was really interesting.. but i didn’t expect that they die.. i hoped that they have happy life at the last.. how sad life would be if they just die when Umberto had really hard and unfair life.. anyways.. i got many ideas by your post thanks

  3. I do not want to sound redounded but I always thought the last scene was interesting. I was a little surprised that Flike forgave Umberto after he tried to kill them both. I found the ending interesting because most Italian Neorealism do not have such a cheery ending like the way Umberto D did, where Umberto and Flike go off into the sunset, and they both appear to be happy. Most movies at that time end off with a much more sad ending like that of another De Sica and Zavattini movie the “Bicycle Thieves”.

  4. Yeah, the music in the movie and the way the camera was placed at certain angles really helped the story progress. And it’s good that Flick didn’t die, he was Umberto’s only friend. Lots of symbolism in this movie as well. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  5. Yeah definitely. It would be an expected thing that Umberto would’ve died because of his depression. The movie did a really good job of keeping the audience on the edge. Thanks for your input

  6. The scenery looks nice, seems like they will have a happy life after both Flick and Umberto almost die. The music throughout the whole movie, especially the part when they’re about to be hit by the train add an eerie feeling to the whole ending. It turns around pretty well, but the same eerie music stays and it could symbolize something. As to those two films, I’ve never actually watched them. The Neo Realist films are definitely interesting and they don’t seem fake like most movies. Showing reality in films seems more emotional than showing explosions in some action film, even though that crap is awesome to look at. Thanks for the comment

  7. I never saw a Neorealism film either so this film was a bit of an enigma to me at first. As i continued watching though it kinda began to make sense the man’s struggle in his hard times i guess that was useful to shock people into realizing what was going on in the world. as for the ending i think Umberto was dissapointed with the fact that his dog didn’t want to go with him but i think he felt it was more important Flike, which was loyal to him his whole life still, not fear him and love him again.

Leave a Reply


Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar