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    Big Deal on Madonna Street

    Big Deal on Madonna Street Poster
    Big Deal on Madonna Street Poster

    Released

    1958

    Runtime

    106

    Big Deal on Madonna Street

    What's it About

    After fooling a rival thief into telling them the whereabouts of an easy-to-crack safe, amateur crooks Peppe (Gassman) and Tiberio (Mastroianni) lead a group of bumbling fools in an attempt to dig an underground tunnel into the pawn shop where it's housed. Aside from a plague of personal problems overshadowing their scheme, everything that could go wrong with their elaborate plan does, landing them all in even more humiliating predicaments.

    Why we love it

    A brilliant spoof of caper films, Monicelli's "Deal" is a manic, crowd-pleasing romp, thanks to an inspired script and hilarious performances. Monicelli focuses as much on his sad-sack characters as he does the details of the heist, and it's impossible not to find these inept robbers — who drill a hole through the wrong wall — completely endearing. Mastroianni, as buffoonish photographer turned car thief Tiberio, is a gas, even up against fabled funnyman Toto (as a scene-stealing, semi-retired burglar). Watch, too, for a young Claudia Cardinale. Filmed on location in Italy, "Madonna" was remade as "Crackers" in 1984, minus the uproarious laughs.

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