The film rates an average 8 on a scale of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes. “Big Deal on Madonna Street,” (1958, 106 minutes), is the pick by Telluride Film Festival‘s Gary Meyer for the next gathering of Cinematheque, a film club and collaboration between the Film Festival and the Wilkinson Public Library. Cinematheque was designed to offer cinematic exploration, lively discussions, and culinary delights, a full package of entertainment for a full evening. The current series, Ciao! Cinema!, focuses on the history of Italian film, and on a number of iconic directors, including Roberto Rossellini, Fredrico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, and others, such as “”Madonna’s” Mario Monicelli.

The free SHOW takes place Monday, December 5, 6 p.m., with a pre-SHOW reception featuring an Italian-themed meal starting at 5:30 p.m.

Oscar-nominated “Big Deal on Madonna Street” is a deft satire of the classic caper film “Riffi.” The group of bungling amateurs includes a star-studded cast: an ex-jockey (Carlo Piscane), a former boxer (Vittorio Gassman) and an out-of-work photographer (Marcello Mastroianni). One of  the Telluride Film Festival’s 2010 tributees, Claudia Cardinale, is also featured. The all-thumbs crew plans a seemingly simple heist with a retired burglar (Toto) serving as a consultant. Their best efforts start heading south from the get-go.

Footnote: “Madonna Street” is also notable for the jazzy soundtrack by composer Piero Umiliani, music which set the stage for the prevailing style in European films of the 1960s and 1970s.
Seth Cagin, local cinephile, former film critic and publisher of the Telluride Watch, leads the evening’s discussion.

To learn more from Seth, click the”play” button.

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