IMDb > The Rip-Off (1977)

The Rip-Off (1977) More at IMDbPro »La bidonata (original title)


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Release Date:
19 May 1977 (Italy) See more »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
THE RIP-OFF (Luciano Ercoli, 1977) *** See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Luciano Ercoli 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ottavio Alessi 
Luciano Ercoli 
Dino Verde 

Produced by
Niccolo De Nora .... producer (as Niccolò De Nora)
Original Music by
Gianni Ferrio 
Cinematography by
Sergio D'Offizi 
Film Editing by
Angelo Curi 
Production Management
Alessandro Calosci .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Renato Moretti .... assistant director
Giovanni Ricci .... assistant director
Camera and Electrical Department
Enrico Lucidi .... camera operator
Walter Vitali .... assistant camera
Other crew
Fiorella Lugli .... script supervisor

Production Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La bidonata" - Italy (original title)
See more »
USA:106 min (DVD)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

The film was never released anywhere in the world after it was shelved because its producer was kidnapped in Italy. The film was considered lost until thirty years later when a 35mm print was discovered in a box that contained Japanese cartoons.See more »


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
THE RIP-OFF (Luciano Ercoli, 1977) ***, 27 September 2007
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

This delightful caper spoof was one of the most pleasant "Euro-Cult" surprises I've had in recent times, especially when considering that it could have been lost to us altogether: it's ironic – not to say chilling – that reality would imitate art so soon afterwards (the plot involves a kidnapping, and the producer was himself the victim of one in real-life, causing the film's release to be unceremoniously cancelled!).

I've always felt that the film's star, Walter Chiari, was the poor man's Vittorio Gassman: he's wonderful here, though – and, in fact, his character (a would-be crook modeling himself on Alain Delon) especially recalls Gassman's stuttering mastermind in Mario Monicelli's classic BIG DEAL ON MADONNA STREET (1958). The rest of the cast is equally well chosen: Maurizio Arena (a chubby song-and-dance man in a run-down variety act), Ettore Manni (a henpecked and alcoholic restaurant owner), Marisa Merlini (Arena's possessive mother), Susan Scott (as a prostitute and Chiari's old flame), Vittorio Caprioli (an irritable wealthy industrialist whose son is the kidnap victim), Franca Valeri (his wife, who strikes a deal with Chiari's gang for half the ransom price!), Venantino Venantini (as the French gangster behind the kidnapping and who has a penchant for S&M games – the most memorable involving his private parts and a suitcase! – which Scott is all-too-happy to oblige).

Chiari devises an elaborate scheme to double-cross the kidnappers by following their every move via a number of vehicles (car hidden in moving van, motorcycle stashed in car boot, etc.); the film's comedy quotient (both verbal and visual) is consistent and generally inspired – with perhaps the most hilarious running-gag being the car about to pursue the kidnappers tumbling sideways out of the van onto the pavement. Though suffering from the occasional longueur due to excessive length, the film is buoyed by a most pleasant score from Gianni Ferrio; ultimately, THE RIP-OFF emerged as a more satisfying effort than the gialli for which director Ercoli (whose last film this proved to be) is best known!

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