Streaming: The Passionate Thief
(Risate di gioia [Laugh for Joy])
February 10–May 2, 2021
Fun and frothy . . . It’s like a long night of champagne without the hangover.Time Out New York
Anna Magnani, Totò, Ben Gazzara, Fred Clark,
For The Passionate Thief, Anna Magnani was reunited with her revue costar of the forties, the beloved comic actor Totò, who revered her. (The kiss on the hand wasn’t good enough for her, he said, and invented the kiss on the foot.) An adaptation of two novels by Alberto Moravia, this beautiful film depicts the failed illusions of two broken-down bit players at Cinecittà. The marvelous Magnani portrays a hapless would-be actress who becomes implicated in a theft by a retired extra (Totò) and a young pickpocket (Ben Gazzara) with whom she falls in love. “Shimmering life, lust, and comedy . . . the fantastic, weird combo of Magnani, Gazzara, and Totò scramble and scheme through Rome on a New Year’s Eve filled with shrieks of laughter, desperate actions, and consuming pleasures” (Manohla Dargis, New York Times).