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Vittorio De Sica
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When young and attractive Lina Stroppiani, a thief like the rest of her family, tries to steal the taxi of Paolo, together with two accomplices, she can't possibly know that this will have far reaching consequences... Written by
Michel Hafner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Theft, Italian style, in a gem of a screwball comedy from Italy...
Wow! Until you hear SOPHIA LOREN speak in her native language, you'd never guess how fast she can talk--especially when it comes to a breezy comedy like this involving a family of thieves run by VITTORIO DeSICA and trying to fleece, among others, MARCELLO MASTROIANNI from his cab while trying to stay one step ahead of the authorities.
Her fast talk is exceptional--and funny--considering the situations she gets into. She has a fluency in Italian that she never showed in her English speaking roles and a terrific sense of timing and humor. She also looks fabulous.
But the real star of the film is VITTORIO DeSICA as the smooth talking and very elegant head of a family of thieves. Grandma is adept at stealing wallets and the kids are handy at stealing tires off cars. From the start, it's obvious that Sophia (as Lina) and Marcello (as Paolo) are bound to fall in love despite the stormy relationship that has them embroiled in arguments over all of their mishaps.
It's amusing from start to finish, which has the predictable ending which has the two of them in a clinch from which they're in no hurry to abandon after a quarrel, not even with a bunch of onlookers wondering why he slapped her first.
It's a pure joy to watch these pros at work, but it's clear that DeSica has to be one of the most consummate actors of Italian cinema--just as wonderful before the camera as behind it. And Sophia and Marcello keep up with him every step of the way.
Watching this with subtitles is worth it, even though they speak so fast that you'll spend a lot of time just reading the English captions.
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