Passionate Thief (1962)
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In "The Passionate Thief," it is New Year's Eve in Rome and Gioia(Anna Magnani) races all the other extras out of Cinecitta because she has plans for the night. All of which goes for naught when she is delayed just long enough to miss her friends at the pre-arranged meeting place. So, she asks her friend and fellow actor Umberto(Toto) to hang out with her. Unbeknownst to her, in his other occupation as a thief, he has other plans, namely helping out Lello(Ben Gazzara) pull off a heist or two while everybody does not notice in all the commotion.
Like any number of wild parties, "The Passionate Thief" is fun for a good while, especially with its three principal actors, each excellent in their own distinctive way, before running out of steam before the end. And the episodic structure does not help nor do the cinematic in-jokes which are never as clever as one thinks they are at the time. What is smart is the way that director Mario Monicelli works with the camera, occasionally framing action in both the foreground and background simultaneously.
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