Big Deal on Madonna Street (I Soliti Ignoti)


Big Deal on Madonna Street (I Soliti Ignoti) (1960)



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Movie Info

Director Mario Monicelli delivers this deft satire of the classic caper film Rififi, introducing a bungling group of amateurs -- including an ex-jockey (Carlo Pisacane), a former boxer (Vittorio Gassman) and an out-of-work photographer (Marcello Mastroianni). The crew plans a seemingly simple heist with a retired burglar (Totó), who serves as a consultant. But this Italian job is doomed from the start.


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Critic Reviews for Big Deal on Madonna Street (I Soliti Ignoti)

All Critics (9)

One of the cases where the first of its kind got everything just about perfect, right out of the gate.

Jul 4, 2015 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Monicelli's seminal Italian comedy, a spoof of heist movies with great performances by Gassman, Mastroianni, Toto, and Cardinale, had major impact on many American satires, past and present.

Jan 3, 2009 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The only really outstanding element is Piero Umiliani's cool jazz score.

Dec 30, 2008 | Full Review…

A devilish black comedy about an inept gang of thieves in Rome that turned out to be a big influence in spoof heist films.

Sep 11, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…

...because the characters are so likable and their plan for breaking into the safe is genuinely interesting, it's easy enough to overlook the few dull spots.

Apr 13, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

a non-too-subtle satire on ... the crime genre, with especially good pokes at Jules Dassin's heist masterpiece Rififi

Jun 25, 2001 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Big Deal on Madonna Street (I Soliti Ignoti)


Although not so consistently funny throughout (in fact, there are quite a few moments that fall short on the humor scale), this charming yet overrated Italian comedy compensates for that with an excellent cast (especially Totò) and some effective scenes that are truly hilarious.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

This was far from what I expected from reading the reviews. This Movie is from the Criterion Collection Spine Number 113. This movie made in 1958 in Black & White reminds me of movies made in the thirties. Yes a comedy but of little interest and very boring at times. A disappointment to me as most Criterion Collection Movies are pretty good. Still for time frame and reading the very fast English Subtitles I will push it to 4 Stars.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Excellent caper movie all'italiana. Superb all-star cast, full of situations as absurd as hilarious, and the usual caustic view upon italian society and traditions.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


"Big Deal on Madonna Street" is a light comedy about an elaborate but shaky scheme to rob a pawnshop safe. The plan is flawed from the start because the safe's contents aren't even known. None of these small-time crooks (including Marcello Mastrioanni) are as sharp as they ought to be, and blossoming romances threaten to distract two of them (when the spectacular Claudia Cardinale is involved, that's inevitable). The film starts slow and its first half could be trimmed -- a long sequence about finding a stooge to serve a jail sentence really doesn't add much to the central story.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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