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In this Italian comedy, set on New Year's Eve, a plucky movie extra creates all kinds of problems for a pickpocket.
Screenwriter D'Amico called Monicelli "a superb director, with the rare gift of comic timing - which cannot be taught, either you have it or you don't." No one seeing "The Passionate Thief" will care to argue the point.
It's best just to yield to it - easy enough to do when you're falling into Magnani's ample embrace.
There isn't much of a story in "The Passionate Thief," though much - including shimmering life, lust and comedy - happens.
While the madcap adventures provide plenty of entertainment, it's Monicelli's sympathetic portrait of complex individuals ... that wins viewers over.
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