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Il ladrone (1980)

| Comedy | May 1981 (USA)
Caleb lives in Galilee at the time of Jesus and tries his best with some pilferage and pretending to be a magician. For event it is a wedding banquet and sees Jesus turning water into wine ... See full synopsis »
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Enrico Montesano ... Caleb
Edwige Fenech ... Deborah
Bernadette Lafont ... Appula
Sara Franchetti Sara Franchetti ... (as Sara Girgenti Franchetti)
Susanna Martinková ... Marta (as Susanna Martinkova)
Daniele Vargas ... Ruffo
Anna Orso Anna Orso ... Maria Magdalena
Auretta Gay
Enzo Robutti ... Centurion
Claudio Cassinelli ... Jesus
Stefania D'Amario ... (as Maria Stefania D'Amario)
Marcella Petrelli ... Moglie di Batuele
Jamil Joudi Jamil Joudi ... Batuele
Moncef Ben Yahia Moncef Ben Yahia ... (as Moncef Bel Hadj Yahia)


Caleb lives in Galilee at the time of Jesus and tries his best with some pilferage and pretending to be a magician. For event it is a wedding banquet and sees Jesus turning water into wine and immediately think they have found a competitor more skilled than him. He manages to steal a necklace and then lose it and find Deborah with whom he shared his life. Always fascinated by the figure of Christ, who will continue to believe a magician more skilled than him, will end on the cross with him accused of an old theft.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis






Italy | France



Release Date:

May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thief See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamaet, Tunisia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 74715 delivered on 1-2-1980. See more »


References Ben-Hur (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

THE GOOD THIEF (Pasquale Festa Campanile, 1980) **1/2
11 April 2009 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This was a highly unlikely but surprisingly effective and enjoyable venture for Italian cinema to undertake at the start of the 1980s: the fanciful story of 'The Good Thief' who ended up being crucified next to Jesus Christ on Golgotha Hill. Then-popular comic Enrico Montesano is ideally cast in the title role of a confidence trickster who roams the streets of Galilee forever in search of the next merchant to sell his defective goods to (passing off a black goat – harbinger of bad luck – as white by painting it!; a dead dog, sold for his silvery skin, which jumps back to life upon hearing its master's whistle, etc.) or the next gullible simpleton to impress with his 'magical' skills (changing water into wine via a tube hidden inside his robe attached to his arms, etc.). Naturally, he does not take kindly to the appearance of Jesus (a very understated and virtually silent appearance by regular Euro-Cult tough guy Claudio Cassinelli) who, not only seems to impinge on his territory, but also seemingly outdoes his every trick with the greatest of ease and the minimum of fuss! Despite its reverent subject, being ostensibly an Italian comedy of its time and co-starring the bountiful Edwige Fenech (playing Lazarus' cousin, a has-been leper whore!) no less, one could hardly fail to find nudity here…although, surprisingly enough, the film's sexiest episode involves distinguished French actress Bernadette Lafont who, as the nymphomaniac wife of a Roman aristocrat, indulges in some prolonged posterior playtime with her willing slave Montesano!! Another ingredient that comes with the territory is crude humor of the scatological variety and this is exhibited via Montesano's encounter with a bunch of Roman soldiers who, entrapping him in a grave, first force him to display his circumcised organ and, then, to repay the favor douse him in collective peeing!! Incongruously, this is then followed by the film's most poignant sequence when the soldiers callously shoot dead his fateful dog (that, amusingly, had previously served as Montesano's 'eye' during card games)! Furthermore, director Festa Campanile (who was also the author of the controversial original source novel) cleverly makes his hapless protagonist a witness to Christ's ministry long before their fateful meeting on Good Friday: he shares a beggars' banquet at the Cana Wedding; he sees a lame man being cured; he goes to the Sermon on the Mount when the miracle of the multiplication of the bread and fish to feed the masses is performed; he is there to observe His walk on water; he is the one to benefit (albeit for a short-term) from Christ telling a wealthy acolyte to go dispose of his every earthly possession and follow Him, etc. Strangely enough, however, the all-important Cruxifiction scene is rather carelessly dealt with, as if the film-makers where impatient to wrap things up! In any case, their decision to shoot in Tunisia pays dividends in an authentic recreation of the times and the ubiquitous Ennio Morricone supplies a jaunty music score that pleases the ear without taxing one's memory.

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