Directed by Vittorio De Sica, Shoeshine (known in its native Italian language as Sciuscia, a Sicilian corruption of the English word "shoe-shiner") was filmed on location in postwar Rome using non-professional actors. It was inspired by the real stories of those struggling to overcome the oppressive forces of a corrupt and ineffective political system.
De Sica's film depicts the troubled lives of two young boys caught up in the chaos of a world plagued by poverty and unemployment. Giuseppe (Rinaldo Smordoni) and Pasquale (Franco Interlenghi) work on the street, where they shine the shoes of American troops. They dream of a better life, seeking solace in a horse that they ride to escape their harsh reality. When the boys are implicated in a petty crime, they are punished by the society that has robbed them of their innocence, resulting in tragic consequences.
Shoeshine is widely regarded as one of the finest films to have emerged from the Italian neo-realist cinema and became the first foreign language film to receive an Oscar; available for the first time ever on DVD!