Vittorio DeSica's Ladri di Biciclette is one of the cornerstone works of the Italian neorealist movement, and had a profound influence on both European and American filmmakers for decades after its original release in 1948, so it's no surprise that the cineastes at the Criterion Collection went out of their way to give the picture a definitive presentation in this two-disc DVD edition. Bicycle Thieves (as it's called in this package, rather than the less accurate but more common English translation The Bicycle Thief) has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the image looks better than it ever has before on video; while there's nothing flashy about the film's visual style, this edition certainly pulls a new wealth of detail from Carlo Montuori's cinematography, and the source materials are pristine. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and two soundtracks have been included -- the original English language version, and a dubbed English language track, both of which sound quite good for the period. Optional English subtitles are also included. The bonus disc contains a number of relevant extras, including two original documentaries -- Working With DeSica, in which screenwriter Suso Cecchi d'Amico and actor Enzo Staiola share their memories of working on the project while critic and historian Callisto Cosulich discusses his meetings with the legendary filmmaker, and Life As It Is: The Neorealist Movement In Italy, essentially an illustrated lecture from Mark Shiel on the history and impact of this vital subgenre. Also featured is a 2003 television documentary on Cesare Zavattini, who helped write Ladri di Biciclette and became a major force in Italian filmmaking as well as one of DeSica's most trusted collaborators. Along with the two discs, Criterion have also included a beautiful 78-page book with essays on the film from DeSica, Zavattini, Andre Bazin, Sergio Leone and many others. Quite simply, it's hard to image a better or more thorough presentation of Bicycle Thieves than the one Criterion has offered us with this package, and it's worthy of one of the most important and powerful motion pictures of its era.