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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:
Kidnapping Drama 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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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Kidnapping Drama, 30 July 2006
Author: VincentElgar from United Kingdom

This little-seen comedy/ thriller about a trio of losers who plan to kidnap a man already marked for that fate by some mobsters marked the cinematic swan-song of 'giallo' specialist Luciano Ercoli. The comedy is fairly broad and bawdy, verging on slapstick at times, but there are some amusing moments particularly when the gang ingeniously employs a variety of vehicles during its operations. 'La Bidonata' never received a theatrical release and seems to have been shelved after its producer became the victim of a real-life kidnapping in early 1977. Kidnapping was of course a major criminal industry in 1970s Italy. The most famous victim was probably former Prime Minister Aldo Moro who was abducted and murdered in 1978. This may have contributed to the decision not to release the film, which contains a somewhat tasteless reference to another kidnapping, that of oil heir Jean Paul Getty III in 1973.

The movie has recently been resurrected however from the only surviving print and appears as an extra on the NoShame Films release of 'Colt 38 Special Squad'. The DVD booklet contains a few extra, albeit rather sketchy details of the producer-kidnapping episode.

Nieves Navarro (the real life Mrs Ercoli, and billed here as Susan Scott) has a nice turn as a hooker whom the gang rope in to their scheme. Navarro, a strikingly beautiful woman, also appears in Ercoli's 'Forbidden Photos of a Lady above Suspicion', 'Death Walks in High Heels' and 'Death Walks at Midnight', each time in various tantalising stages of undress. The Navarro-Ercoli relationship could be seen as a forerunner of that between Brian de Palma and Nancy Allen, who frequently cast his onetime wife as a lady of dubious repute.

'La Bidonata' is certainly not on the same cinematic level as Ercoli's giallos, but is worth seeking out as a curiosity item - and certainly if you're a fan of Ms Navarro.

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