An old man, at the end of his rope, looks for a loving home for his dog, so he can commit suicide without a guilty conscience.
Vittorio De Sica was a huge part of Italian neorealism and most people say that THE BICYCLE THIEF is his greatest film and yes it's a great film, even "one of the foundation stones of Italian neorealism" (Roger Ebert), but my favorite De Sica film is UMBERTO D. And it all has to do with the heartbreaking performance by non-actor Carlo Battisti and his character's love for his dog, Flag.
Umberto is living a horrible life. He's old, he rents a shitty room from a bitch landlady who doesn't care that the room has ants and even goes so far to show how much she doesn't care by letting couples hump in his room while he's out! That's some lowdown shit! The one spot of happiness in his life is Flag who some of the neighborhood kids call Fag. LOL. I'm just bullshitin', nobody calls the dog Fag. Anyway, Umberto's whole life revolves around Flag. So when his landlady throws him out, he decides to kill himself, but first he has to find a loving person to leave Flag with. That's much harder said than done.
I'm not going to be an asshole and give it all away, but this film is extremely sad, so make sure there isn't any hot chicks around when you watch the dog pound scene. It's brutal and even after repeat viewings I still get all worked up watching it, but it's nothing compared to the end which is legendary in it's tear-jerking abilities. So make sure you have you big girl panties on when you watch it.
Beautifully made and highly recommended.