Good Thief, The / Il ladrone (1980)

3.5 out of 5

This deliciously subversive Biblical comedy, despite thematically being pretty close to The Life of Brian, is in no way Pythonesque in it's execution and would probably be better compared to the Dudley Moore vehicle Wholly Moses! from the same year.

There are plenty of funny, sweet and the occasional tearjerking moments in a film that Pasquale Festa Campanile directs and is based on his own novel. The lead characters played by Enrico Montesano and Edwige Fenech work really well together and their romantic interaction is most endearing. Claudio Cassinelli is great as Jesus and manages to successully give off a suitably pious air.

The perky and quirky comedy-friendly soundtrack is provided by Ennio Morricone and the Tunisian locations are well captured as they fill in for the Holy Land. While not especially family friendly viewing, and possibly a wee bit offensive to overly sensitive devout types, the film is nevertheless delightful lazy afternoon type entertainment for grown ups.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics