This movie follows the exploits of Augusto and his team of unscrupulous crooks, they cheat and swindle the poorest, and most helpless, of the Italian countryside stealing what little savings these people have for promises of immense riches. They then return to Rome where everyone seems to be trying to work the other, each character and minor character tries to outwit the other. There are a few very subtly funny hustling scenes that are offset by the tragic everyday life of Augusto. He is no longer a young hustler, but a middle aged crook with nothing to look forward to. That is, until he sees his young, and estranged daughter Patrizia, and he sees her as a way to make his life more meaningful, or maybe, less lonely. (POSSIBLE SPOILERS) And she only needs a small sum of money to help her get on her feet, so Augusto, the working man he is, tries to help her. The viewer gets the feeling that it might actually be one last bidone, or big swindle, and for once he has a legitimate reason. But, in the life of Augusto nothing can be as easy as that. Augusto's character is forlorn and sad, but, if I might add, if the last scene does not leave a lump in your throat you are a stronger man than I.