Big Deal on Madonna Street

Big Deal on Madonna Street

5.0 2
Director: Mario Monicelli

Cast: Mario Monicelli, Vittorio Gassman, Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale

     
 

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Mario Monicelli's classic crime comedy Big Deal on Madonna Street (I Soliti Ignoti) features Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni as a pair of thieves who head a group of criminals in a break-in attempt. Their plan involves digging an underground tunnel from an apartment that leads to a neighboring business and drilling their way inside. In additionSee more details below

Overview

Mario Monicelli's classic crime comedy Big Deal on Madonna Street (I Soliti Ignoti) features Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni as a pair of thieves who head a group of criminals in a break-in attempt. Their plan involves digging an underground tunnel from an apartment that leads to a neighboring business and drilling their way inside. In addition to each of the burglars struggling with individual personal problems, the group must reassess their plans after they find themselves not in the store, but a different room of the apartment from which they started. Big Deal on Madonna Street is a spoof of Jules Dassin's caper classic Rififi.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The common ground of all caper films -- scenes of meticulous planning leading to split-second timing -- are notably absent in director Mario Monicelli's richly endearing neo-realist comedy Big Deal on Madonna Street. A humorous twist on great caper films like Rififi and The Asphalt Jungle, Big Deal follows a hapless band of low-rent criminals as they plan to rob a local pawnbroker's safe. This would-be Ocean's Eleven, a group that doesn't even have watches to synchronize, makes missteps right from the start and stumbles ever more ludicrously as the plot thickens. Aside from their failings as felons, they're a charming group, at heart more interested in wine, women, and song than in big-time crime. Gang members include Vittorio Gassman, as a glass-jawed boxer with an eye for the ladies, and a young Marcello Mastroianni as a would-be photographer who has to leave his infant son with his jailed wife so he can do the big job. Monicelli's direction suits the material perfectly, emphasizing authentic street atmosphere instead of slick production values. Crime certainly doesn't pay in Big Deal on Madonna Street, but this classic Italian comedy is good for more than a few laughs.
All Movie Guide
Like the similarly themed British film The Ladykillers, Mario Monicelli's caper comedy Big Deal on Madonna Street takes a hapless group of misfits on a heist during which everything that can go wrong does. The cast is led by such skilled performers as Vittorio Gassman as Peppe, Renato Salvatori as Mario, and Marcello Mastroianni as Tiberio, and backed by a terrific assortment of Italian character actors. Monicelli's laid-back approach ideally suits the story, as the would-be thieves are continually distracted and delayed in their quest for a seemingly easy-to-snatch safe. Despite being somewhat buffoonish, the leads are also very believable and likable; Monicelli is interested as much in the characters as he is in the story. Among the highlights are when Peppe tricks rival thief Cosimo into giving him the location of a safe; Mario's encounters with Carmela (played by a very young Claudia Cardinale); Cosimo's failed attempt to rob the pawn shop; and the final heist sequence, which is filled with inspired touches. The script gives each cast member a chance to shine, with Carlo Pisacane especially endearing as the old thief Capannelle, and Toto stealing several scenes as the "retired" safecracker who shows them the ropes. The cinematography and production design capture life in the slums of Italy (filmed on striking locations), and there is a whimsical, jazzy score by Piero Umiliani. The influence of Big Deal on Madonna Street can be seen in such films as Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks (2000), and to this day the film remains both charming and very funny.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/16/2000
UPC:
0037429096031
Original Release:
1958
Source:
Homevision

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Vittorio Gassman Peppe
Marcello Mastroianni Tiberio
Claudia Cardinale Carmelina
Renato Salvatori Mario
Rosanna Rory Norma
Carla Gravina Nicoletta
Carlo Pisacane Capannelle
Toto Dante
Memmo Carotenuto Cosimo
Tiberlo Murgia Ferribotte
Gina Rovere Actor
Renato Terra Actor

Technical Credits
Mario Monicelli Director,Screenwriter
Age Screenwriter
Franco Cristaldi Producer
Suso Cecchi D'Amico Screenwriter
Piero Gherardi Costumes/Costume Designer
Adriana Novelli Editor
Furio Scarpelli Screenwriter
Piero Umiliani Score Composer
Gianni Di Venanzo Cinematographer

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