From the archive
The film’s Italian title Ladri di saponette, a play on the Italian title of De Sica’s film, means “Soap Thieves”; it is justified by dialogue where a boy is told not to use up all the soap when washing his hands, and his mother wonders if he is eating it. For English-speaking audiences, the title was changed to The Icicle Thief, playing on the English title of De Sica’s film. This title was justified by changing the wording of the English subtitles when the characters talk about some chandeliers and one is stolen. In the original Italian dialogue they are said to sparkle like pearls (perle) and drops of water (gocce), but in the English subtitles, they look “like icicles” (which in Italian would be ghiaccioli).