Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.
Al Caruso, John Gresco and Jack Amoruso are three gangsters working for the Genovese family. However, their efforts are more than headache-inducing, and when they are given one last chance:... See full summary »
Mario leads a normal life, working in a Milan bank. His daily routine is shattered when he witnesses a murder and is shot himself by the killer, a deranged police commissioner. To save his ... See full summary »
Peppe, formerly a boxer, organizes the break-in of a pawnshop. Tiberio, an unemployed photographer, Mario, a receiver, the Sicilian Michele and Capannelle, an ex-jockey, are the other members of the gang. Though they are advised by Dante, a retired burglar, the task is not so easy... Written by
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006. See more »
Tell me, do you know a guy called Mario who lives around here?
Boy playing soccer:
There are a thousand Marios around here.
Yes, but this one is a thief.
Boy playing soccer:
There are still a thousand.
See more »
Tall, handsome Vittorio Gassman stars as Peppe, the womanizing glass-jawed palooka who, along with several keystone criminals, stumblebum their way to...not much. Also featured in this comedy by Italian film legend Mario Monicelli are Marcello Mastroianni and Claudia Cardinale, who would go on to fame and fortune, but here have only modest parts. Mastroianni, who would later star in La Dolce Vita (1960), Il Bell'Antonio (1960), Divorzio all'italiana (1961) and many others, plays Tiberio a photographer without a camera, whose wife is in jail, who has a constantly crying baby to take care of with one of his arms up in a sling with a board under it. Cardinale, who would go on to become one of Italy's most famous beauty bombshells, plays Carmelina, a young woman locked up by her brother in order to protect her honor until she marries.
Also featured are Carla Gravina (Nicoletta), a very pretty 17-year-old who went on to only a modest career, and the veteran Toto who plays the incompetent safecracker, Dante Cruciani. Notable is Renato Salvatori as Mario who wins Carmelina's heart, Memmo Carotenuto as Cosimo who fails at purse-snatching, and Carlo Pisacane as Capannelle who looks like an aged member of the Bowery Boys.
The story begins when Cosimo is caught trying to steal a car. In prison he learns of a nice sting that he can pull off if only he can get out of jail. So he tries to hire a scapegoat to confess to the crime so he can be freed. Finally Peppe, after getting knocked out in the first round of a prize fight, decides he needs the money. However when he goes to confess, the police see through the ruse and throw him in jail without releasing Cosimo. But Peppe does get out, and he and the motley assortment of would-be jewel thieves plot their crime amid hilarious missteps, pratfalls and mass confusion as they break into an apartment that they have the keys for to knock down a wall (which wall?) to gain access to a safe they probably can't crack. Will they succeed despite all the mishaps? There is a sense of both recovery and poverty in post World War II Italy in the backdrops and the asides and the circumstances of the characters that lend to this comedy a realistic edge. We see the petty thievery as an understandable and almost acceptable way of life, at least for the time being. Mario always buys or steals three identical things for his "mother" who turns out to be three women who raised him at the orphanage. Tiberio has to sell his camera and then steal one. Skinny Capannelle is always eating. And in the jail several men share one cigarette while they blow the smoke into a bottle to capture it so that others might get a little nicotine as well! (Sure, and I have some gum I can recycle.) The Criterion Collection DVD that I viewed has excellent yellow subtitles, but some of the lines come so fast and with such comedic as well as denotative intent that it is easy to miss something. Knowing Italian would help! See this for all the "bumbling criminal" movies that it both imitated and inspired, and for the fine work by the talented cast.
(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
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