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Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958)

I soliti ignoti (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | 2 October 1958 (Italy)
A motley quintet of inept small-time thieves attempt the burglary of a local pawnshop in this Italian farce.


Mario Monicelli


Agenore Incrocci (story) (as Age), Furio Scarpelli (story) (as Scarpelli) | 4 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Vittorio Gassman ... Peppe il pantera
Renato Salvatori ... Mario Angeletti
Memmo Carotenuto ... Cosimo
Rossana Rory ... Norma
Carla Gravina ... Nicoletta
Claudia Cardinale ... Carmelina
Carlo Pisacane ... Capannelle
Tiberio Murgia ... Michele detto Ferribotte
Gina Rovere Gina Rovere ... Teresa - la moglie di Tiberio
Gina Amendola Gina Amendola ... Mario's 'Madre'
Elvira Tonelli Elvira Tonelli ... Assunta
Elena Fabrizi Elena Fabrizi ... Signora Ada (as Elisa Fabrizi)
Pasquale Misiano Pasquale Misiano ... Massimo
Renato Terra ... Eladio
Aldo Trifiletti ... Fernando - portinaio


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 Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Story of a Perfect Crime... Perfectly Hilarious!


Comedy | Crime


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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 »


Cosimo: [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]
Cosimo: All orphans here, I see.
See more »


Spoofs Rififi (1955) See more »

User Reviews

A tender look at some incompetent incorrigibles
21 July 2005 | by rolee-1See all my reviews

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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Release Date:

2 October 1958 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Deal on Madonna Street See more »

Filming Locations:

Via Alesia, Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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