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Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)
"I soliti ignoti" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Crime  -  26 July 1958 (Italy)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 5,178 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 17 critic

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

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(story), (story), 5 more credits »
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Title: Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Memmo Carotenuto ...
Rossana Rory ...
Norma
Carla Gravina ...
Nicoletta
...
Carmelina
Carlo Pisacane ...
Tiberio Murgia ...
Gina Rovere ...
Teresa - la moglie di Tiberio
Gina Amendola ...
Mario's 'Madre'
Elvira Tonelli ...
Assunta
Elena Fabrizi ...
Signora Ada (as Elisa Fabrizi)
Pasquale Misiano ...
Massimo
Renato Terra ...
Eladio
Aldo Trifiletti ...
Fernando - portinaio
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Storyline

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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 July 1958 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Big Deal on Madonna Street  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Big Deal on Madonna Street" was the inspiration for the 1986 Broadway Musical "Big Deal" by Bob Fosse. Bob Fosse was inspired by other classic Italian films for his musical repertoire including Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria" and "8 1/2," the basis for "Sweet Charity" and "Nine" respectively. See more »

Quotes

Tiberio: Stealing is a serious profession. You need serious people, not people like you. All you can do at your best is work.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Lo schermo a tre punte (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Who are these guys anyway?
30 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As is typical in most Italian comedies, Monicelli has taken a cup of post war Italy realism and stirred in a cup of scenes from the human condition along with a dash of physical comedy which makes 'Big Deal On Madonna Street' a bittersweet cake we all can enjoy.

Like DeSica and Visconti, Monicelli uses post war Italy as the atmosphere in which these characters find themselves trying to eke out their lives. The recurring Italian film maker's theme of man against a complicated, bureaucratic life is no more evident than here. Throughout the film, the characters impressively quote Italian law by chapter and verse however this does not help them as they all have spent time in jail. The absurdity of knowledge without benefit of improvement is a another theme used. As Toto waxes eloquently regarding the sundry ways to break into a safe (one which the film goer is led to believe he knows nothing about), these men attempt to gain knowledge which they believe will deliver the big score. However even with knowing the apartment is empty, the type of safe the valuables are in and the way to gain access to the safe, their plan is flawed by their inability to execute what seems to them to be a fool proof blue print for success.

While Monicelli's themes ring as clear as the bell that has Peppe il pantera (Gassman) on the canvas, the characterizations of this band of misfits are classic. A stuttering, would be fighter (Gassman), and an out-of-work photographer who has sold his camera to survive (Mastroianni)lead the crew. The scenes played between Gassman's 'everything's easy' attitude and Mastroianni's inquisitiveness provide the viewer with hilarious cat and mouse verbal trade-offs.

In the end, 'Big Deal On Madonna Street' strikes a chord for viewers because we have all felt, at times, completely helpless by the absurdity of life and our pursuit for 'the prize' that we perceive will deliver us from our situation. However like this crew at the end of the film, we wake up every morning and realize that it's back to work to grind out another day.


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