Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Crime

Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958) Poster

A motley quintet of inept small-time thieves attempt the burglary of a local pawnshop in this Italian farce.


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4 October 2002 | Bobbyh-2
very funny, occasionally imitated, but never equalled
I suspect that it's hard to find this gem for rental purposes, which is a shame. A take-off on the classic French film noir, Rififi, it stands up wonderfully and deserves greater recognition. Monicelli is too little known as a director in the US, I think. Louis Malle attempted a remake of this some years back, to disastrous effect, and now there's a new attempt out, called "Welcome to Collinswood"; my hunch is that, while it might be better than the Malle version, it won't match the original. A group of bumbling small-time thieves plan and try to execute a heist, but nothing goes right. As the gang's leader, a punchy boxer with more attitude than ability, Vittorio Gassmann is wonderful, as is everyone else in the cast. Special notice should be given to the marvelous character comedian, Toto, and--in a small role, buried well down in the credits, the young Marcello Mastroianni. Also featured is another youngster, Claudia Cardinale. If you've seen Rififi, you'll find this comedy a particular joy. If you haven't, you'll like it, anyway. Why doesn't someone rerelease this?

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