Robbery Roman Style / Super rapina a Milano (1964)

3.0 out of 5

After a gang knocks over a bank, they escape to the Italian countryside where they go to ground disguised as monks to avoid the copy's investigation.

This comic caper, clearly made in the wake of 1958's Big Deal on Madonna Street, is a far cry from the gritty, ultraviolence of the Polizia era that would soon dawn on Italian cinema. Starring Italian pop star Adriano Celentano he was billed as directing, though the job was really done by Django scribe Piero Vivarelli, and he has plenty of charisma and comic charm to keep the film grounded throughout the many comic set pieces.

The film is incredibly styled with plenty of 60s fashions to behold, and the score by Detto Mariano touches on everything from swinging pop fueled by surf guitars and scatting to more traditional pieces that give the movie some much needed tension throughout.

While the criminals in religious drag might have been done better years later in Nuns on the Run, the religious humor skirted the edge of acceptability, and by movie's end, it felt like a perfect conceit for the film. The ending, while feeling a tad forced, wrapped everything up nicely. Be on the lookout for future Italian exploitation regular Ivan Rassimov as a gun toting thug.

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