MovieChat Forums > The Icicle Thief (1989) Discussion > Please release this on DVD

Please release this on DVD


This is one fun and interesting movie, and I would love to own a copy of it on (region 1) DVD.

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Have you seen it? I just saw "The Bicycle Thief," and now I have this spoof on my mind. I'd love to see "The Icicle Thief" on DVD, or even VHS if I can find one.

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"The Icicle Thief" is a wonderful, humorous, imaginative film! It's been almost three years since my original post, and I'm beginning to think I should buy one of those VHS/DVD recorders. I hate to say it, but I may need to make my own DVD copy off of the VHS tape I own. I realize this film is almost unheard of in the United States, but it could be sold here if it were marketed correctly. WarpedRecord, I strongly recommend "The Icicle Thief" if you haven't yet seen it! It is an absolute delight!

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Thanks for the recommendation, onnanob2! I shall seek this forgotten gem out.

Fortunately, there's a video store near me that carries extremely rare and hard-to-find titles, and I think they should have this. I wanted to see it after reading a review when it was released in 1989, but it just slipped through the cracks. Lately I've been buying VHS titles by the boxload when stores clear them out, but I have yet to come across "The Icicle Thief."

I can't speak Italian, but I assume the title was just an Americanized pun rather than a literal translation of the Italian title. I suspect "bicycle" and "icicle" don't rhyme in Italian. I also suspect that no icicles actually get stolen in this film.

On another matter, don't you love when someone responds to a message you posted years ago?

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Hello WarpedRecord!

I really hope you'll be able to find this movie! It is a gem of a movie! Please let me know what you think of it when you find it! I'd love to hear your reaction! As I was writing back to you, things looked more and more like an actual review. I decided to just write it as a review, and post it on IMdB. I don't think I'm giving too much away here, but I'll list "possible spoilers" anyway.

"The Icicle Thief" is a very difficult film to describe by plot. In fact, I can't think of any other film that is so hard to describe. I think the easiest way to describe "The Icicle Thief" would be to say there are four basic plot elements involved:

1. A motion picture is being shown on national Italian television (this is where the parody of "The Bicycle Thief" comes in.)
2. There are commercial breaks during the airing of the film.
3. The director of the film being shown on television is present in the television studio.
4. An Italian family watches the film from their living room.

The motion picture that's being shown on Italian television is similar to the classic, "The Bicycle Thief," and the film's director is nervous about its broadcast as he hangs around the television studio. The film eventually copies a key scene from "The Bicycle Thief," and a character steals a crystal chandelier from the chandelier factory where he works. The stolen "icicles" are the dangling crystals of the chandelier. Everything seems to be running as scheduled with the broadcast of the film.

Suddenly, something goes haywire as the film is being broadcast! A lovely swimsuit model from one of the commercials gets transported into the film that's being shown! Also, characters from the film being aired suddenly find themselves in the commercials! Black and white meets color, and the English language meets Italian as the characters go into worlds which are not of their own media. It's up to the film's director to save his film as it's being aired, and he manages to go into the "world" of his film to straighten it all out. The results are humorous, delightful, and even joyous! While all of this chaos is going on, a family watches the film unfold in the comfort of their living room. They aren't too sure what to make of the film that's being broadcast onto their television!

"The Icicle Thief" is a very imaginative film, and a very well-made film. Director Maurizio Nichetti has crafted something unusual and special. The performances are wonderful; including Maurizio Nichetti's own performance as the director of the film that's being shown on Italian television. Caterina Sylos Labini turns in an excellent performance as the pasta-making wife and mother in the parody of "The Bicycle Thief." Heidi Komarek gives the film a fun touch as the English speaking, television commercial model, who finds herself suddenly transported into the Italian film as it's being broadcast.

One of my favorite moments happens when Maria Piermattei (Caterina Sylos Labini), a character from the black and white "Bicycle Thief" parody, finds her little boy in a colorful television commercial. It's a moment of colorful brilliance and joy!




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That's a very good review, onnanob2! I voted it helpful. When I got my computer, I meticulously reviewed every film I saw, but I ran out of steam because on some days, I'd watch three or four titles.

There's a video store across town from me that has just about everything ever released on video or DVD, and I'm hoping to make a trip there in a few days to check out "The Icicle Thief." I also see there are several versions available on Amazon.com for as low as $3.56.

I love the fact that this is a movie within a movie. This is kind of off-topic here, but this reminds me of a Spanish film from the '80s I recently saw called "Anguish," with Zelda Rubinstein. It starts out as a horror film about a mother hypnotizing her son to kill, but then you realize this film is being watched by an audience at a Los Angeles movie theater, where a slasher is knocking off the patrons. I love films that try to shake up reality by breaking that wall between the film and the viewers.

Anyway, thanks again for the recommendation, and I'll let you know if I'm able to locate "The Icicle Thief."

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Hello, onnanob2!

Well, it took a few weeks, but I finally tracked down "The Icicle Thief." Believe it or not, a video store across town had two copies, one the official VHS release and another, rather dubious-looking PAL copy of the European release. I opted for the official release.

It was sheer brilliance! It certainly helps if you've seen "The Bicycle Thief," at least initially, but after a point it becomes so surreal that you just have to run with it. This movie works on so many levels -- as slapstick, as a sendup of consumer culture, as a romance, and as a parody of arthouse films. About two-thirds of the way through, I gave up trying to sort out the plot of the film being shown on TV from the commercials and the audience, because they became so mingled that there was no longer a distinction. I hope to watch it again to sort it out further, but I think the confusion is part of the intent.

I hope one day this will be available on DVD for a wider audience to appreciate. It's truly an overlooked gem. Thanks so much for recommending it!

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Hello WarpedRecord,

I am really glad you enjoyed the movie! You're right, it is a gem! I could also recommend foreign favorites "Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown" (Spain), which is available on DVD, and "Tatie Danielle" (France.) "Tatie Danielle" is another gem that is not available on DVD (at least it's not available here in the States.) It deals with an outrageous elderly lady who will do almost anything to make your day miserable! It's very funny. I'm sure IMdB offers more info on these films.

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Thanks for the recommendations. I have indeed seen "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," as well as almost all of Pedro Almodóvar's films, and I love it! I will check out "Tatie Danielle" also.

You may have seen the films of Percy Adlon, of whom I'm a big fan. "Bagdad Cafe"/"Out of Rosenheim" is excellent, and "Rosalie Goes Shopping" and "Salmonberries" are very good. And of course, there's Lars Von Trier, whose are less accessible but generally worthwhile. "Breaking the Waves" and "Dancer" in the Dark" are superb. I suspect you may have already seen those.

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Its out on DVD in Italy (region 2) with English & French Subtitles

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