Caught red-handed for a crime he swears he didn't commit, the hopeful criminal mastermind and--for now--small-time thief, Cosimo, entrusts the square-jawed boxer, Peppe, with the plan for a seemingly fail-proof pawnshop heist on the quiet Madonna Street. However, as the news of this lucrative job spreads like wildfire, instead, it's Cosimo's band of maladroit petty criminals--including a destitute photographer with fatherly obligations--who will take action for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But, will things work as planned?Written by
Vittorio Gassman's first notable comedic role. Before this movie, Gassman was mostly known as a dramatic actor, with roles in Bitter Rice (1949), Amleto (1955) and War and Peace (1956); after this film, he would go on to star in many comedies throughout the rest of his career. See more »
The thieves should know enough to wear gloves to hide their fingerprints. However, the main comedic beat of the movie is how the band is composed of incompetent thieves who are way over their heads, except for veteran Dante Cruciani who doesn't take part in the actual robbery. See more »
[seeing other prisoners smoking in the prison yard]
May your father and mother drop dead if you have a cigarette and aren't sharing.
[no one responds]
All orphans here, I see.
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One character approaches another to get him to take the rap for a crime. But he can't do it, so he suggests someone else. The third character can't do it either. Soon a half dozen people are in search of someone to take the rap. They eventually decide that they need someone without a previous criminal record. But none of them knows anyone without a criminal record.
I had no idea it was going to be a comedy when I first started watching it. By the end I was laughing out loud. It's a little slow, but many Italian movies are a little slow and caper films usually build slowly. But it is thoroughly enjoyable with some gags that I've never seen anywhere else in film. Cosimo's bank heist was very amusing.
If you've just recently watched The Bicycle Thief, and are depressed by the bleakness of life shown there, this movie is the perfect antidote. It shows the lighter side of people who are down on their luck.
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