An all-star cast and jazzy score highlight this charming comedy, a deft satire of classic caper films like Rififi. Big Deal on Madonna Street hilariously details the plight of a sad-sack group of bumbling thieves and their desperate attempts to pull off the perfect heist.
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If you are looking for a Postwar Italian film that isn't some depressing tragedy with families hocking their bedsheets and starving fishermen or starving women forced into prostitution, this lightweight and silly comedy is just the ticket! I prefer the tragedies but this is great, too. (There actually is a joke about hocking the bedsheets in this film :-)
"A group of thieves do everything wrong" sounds like a one-joke premise, but Monicelli's way of viewing people and their society is not just hilarious, but rich—jokes come fast with scarcely a dud among them. He also knows the secret of the "screwball crime" subgenre: that we care more about people than we do about property. And he knows that, however silly it gets, that's essentially a political statement.
A real host of stars: Mastroianni, Salvatori, Cardinale, Gassmann and Toto. A couple of really hilarious scenes and one dramatic moment squeezed in a movie which will make you smile during 100 minutes. Some scenes uncannily made me think of the Woody Allen of SMALL TIME CROOKS for instance. Laughter doesn't seem to know any frontier. highly recommended.
Entertaining comic caper from director Mario Monicelli. Sharply-written with a great cast of colorful characters, superb black and white cinematography, and authentic gritty locations - but it's light on real laughs and occasionally gets bogged down in its subplots. Ultimately, only a minor classic.
Crazy caper by a gang of stumblebum nincompoops at least one of which can't even tie his shoes. Fine ensemble acting. It's a tribute to the human spirit that comedy can be mined even amid the crumbling, bombed-out ruins of Italy.
Une comédie légère et bien enlevée, non dénuée de judicieuses et judiciaires observations sur le "petit" milieu, qui garde une fraîcheur de ton indéniable. Il convient de noter en particulier la finesse de jeu des acteurs et le constant humour teinte de tristesse et de gravité. Un solide classique de la comédie italienne de la fin des années 1950 qui a pourtant pris quelques indéniables rides. www.cinefiches.com
Una agradable comedia con un final anecdótico que genera una reflexión referente a una generación conformista y degradada. A pesar de ello, Monicelli no se inclina a promover una continuidad neorrealista. En su historia de un grupo de aspirantes a malhechores existe la redención. Secuencias hilarantes quedan a la memoria: una película mal grabada, el asalto a una tienda o la perforación a una pared.