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Shoeshine/ Italian:Sciuscia' ( Vittorio de Sica) is the first wholly neorealistic picture but it was a commercial disaster. Film critics judged it negatively because of the difficulty in understanding the performers' mixed accents and dialects, and De Sica's emphasizing misfortunes of the poor as well as detailed descriptions of the conditions of prison life.

The film tells the story about two friends, Pasquale and Giuseppe and their tragic end. By shining shoes they are saving money to purchase a horse. Soon they become victims of deception. The boys buy the horse they have always wanted but after the return to the city they are taken by the police and sent to a juvenile detention center in separated cells. Trying to get the information, the policeman tricks Pasquale pretending to beat Giuseppe and he admits about their previous theft. Giuseppe discovers that Pasquale confessed everything and is very angry with him. During a film projection Giuseppe and Riccardo escape from prison. Pasquale tells the police where they might be and takes them to the stable. Pasquale runs off and finds Giuseppe and Riccardo riding on their horse across the bridge. Pasquale and Giuseppe quarrel and fight and Giuseppe falls on the rocks. When the police arrives they find Pasquale crying over Giuseppe's dead body.

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