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828 Ratings

Big Deal on Madonna Street

I soliti ignoti

Directed by Mario Monicelli
Italy, 1958
Comedy, Crime


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.

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Big Deal on Madonna Street Directed by Mario Monicelli

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1959 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

Locarno International Film Festival

1959 | Winner: Funniest Film


San Sebastián International Film Festival

1958 | Winner: Silver Seashell

Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists

1959 | 3 wins including: Best Screenplay

1959 | 4 nominations including: Best Director

The film’s climax is as meticulously staged and almost as long as the legendary half-hour heist sequence in Rififi, but replaces the Frenchmen’s laconic professionalism with the Italians’ noisy ineptitude. The use of arch, silent movie-style intertitles to further the narrative adds to the apparent air of mockery.
January 23, 2017
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What is clear on a revelatory re-viewing [is] an uncompromising creativity that clearly didn’t seek solutions to the problems of story or of filmmaking but rather took up with its hero and subject and went with it, using its allegiance as a fund for inspiration and energy. The filmmaking doesn’t follow the subject: it is one with the subject.
August 20, 2014
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One of the funniest Italian comedies ever made—certainly much funnier than the many imitations and remakes (i.e., rip-offs) it’s spawned over the years. Monicelli’s sense of character is priceless, and his fabulous cast—including Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Claudia Cardinale, and Renato Salvatori—makes the most of it.
September 01, 2000
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