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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.

Director:

Mario Monicelli

Writers:

Agenore Incrocci (story) (as Age), Furio Scarpelli (story) (as Scarpelli) | 4 more credits »
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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:
Vittorio Gassman ... Peppe il pantera
Renato Salvatori ... Mario Angeletti
Memmo Carotenuto Memmo Carotenuto ... Cosimo
Rossana Rory ... Norma
Carla Gravina ... Nicoletta
Claudia Cardinale ... Carmelina
Carlo Pisacane ... Capannelle
Tiberio Murgia 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 Renato Terra ... Eladio
Aldo Trifiletti Aldo Trifiletti ... Fernando - portinaio
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of the nine Monicelli-Gassman collaborations. See more »

Quotes

Capannelle: Tell me, do you know a guy called Mario who lives around here?
Boy playing soccer: There are a thousand Marios around here.
Capannelle: Yes, but this one is a thief.
Boy playing soccer: There are still a thousand.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Voi siete qui (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Fluffy Heist Romp Loaded With Great Italian Stereotypes
19 December 2006 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

As a veteran of heist movies, I think my opinion is valid when I say that it's not so much a spoof of heist films like Rififi as it is just a funny movie about thieves who bumble their way through what could be a much slicker and less complicated heist if the thieves from Rififi were pulling it off instead. The movie enjoys its fair share of little con tricks and bait-and-switch-oriented goings-on, mostly played for laughs of surprise. Perhaps Big Deal On Madonna Street is a little too laid back to really be as memorable as I was thinking it would be, but it is very funny. It has several great sight gags and well-timed moments of Italian-faced goofiness.

The most entertaining thing about the film is the fact that it's Italian. The Italian cast is so jampacked with overt stereotypes, everyone gesturing wildly and saying, "Mamma Mia!" The outcome of the heist is such a ridiculous slur on the comic strip archetype of Italians, something twice or thrice as hilarious to an American audience. However, the appeal is not just in the humor in what is either an Italian self-parody or an unaware display of every mocked Italian institution. It's also the extroverted, old-fashioned world of your average Italian in this film. The first half hour of the film is a bunch of characters scrambling to find a friend who will take the rep for someone for a little while in prison, and everything continually gets more complicated and more tangled, and so many different people end up in prison. Not only do I find it amusing how nonchalant everyone is in deciding whether they will do this favor that involves spending time in jail or not, but I'm also fascinated about the idea that in Italy, crooks aren't so much worried about what will happen to them when they go to prison as they're worried to death of what their mother will think of them or how their mother will be so wounded by what has come of her son. It's almost a beautiful mindset, if you ask me.

Big Deal On Madonna Street is no masterpiece, no movie that you desperately want to come back to, but it's very funny and an enjoyable piece of European cinema.


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