Saturday, September 25, 2010

Malacoda's Eleven

Malacoda’s Eleven
By Roger Ebert

Danny Malacoda (Frank Sinatra) travels to Pandemonium to meet up with his former partner in crime, Rusty Draghignazzo (Peter Lawford), to propose a bank heist. The two devils then head to Vatican City to pitch their plan to Cardinal Secretary of State Giambattista Rubini (Sammy Davis, Jr.). They plan to rob the Treasury of Merit, the better to blackmail Roman Catholic politicians to do the bidding of the Old Serpent.

Cardinal Rubini is initially reluctant to barter his immortal soul, but Danny and Rusty make him an irresistible offer: a night with Gina Lollobrigida.

Danny and Rusty recruit several succubae and incubae from Malebolge, along with a talented safecracker imprisoned in Balogia 13.

The merits of the saints are kept in a safe behind a Veronese painting of the Madonna and child–in the office of Cardinal Prefect Serafino Vannutelli (George Raft). The merits of the saints are embedded in Vatican lira, of different denominations, issued by the Philatelic and Numismatic Office.

Only Pope Celestine VI (Dean Martin) knows the combination. An incubus is dispatched to divine the combination while the pope is asleep–but unfortunately, the pope memorized the combination in Portuguese, while the incubus only knows Sumerian, Russian, Swahili, and Yiddish. So they must utilize the services of their safecracker (Robert Wagner).

Cardinal Rubini gives them the master key to the office of the Prefect. Swiss Guards are always stationed outside his office. However, a succubus diverts their attention while Danny, Rusty, and his crew gain entrance. After bagging the lira, they escape through a hidden passageway (thanks to Cardinal Rubini, who gave them a classified map of Vatican City) to a waiting van, disguised as an ambulance. They then transfer the loot to a private jet, and fly to Lucerne.

Purgatory quickly begins to back up. Laymen who donated to the Purgatorian Archconfraternity demand a refund. Pretty soon the Vatican files for bankruptcy. Vatican City is sold to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, while the pope becomes a street vendor–selling lampredotto to tourists.

In the meantime, the Old Serpent grants a plenary indulgence to Catholic politicians who enact blue laws against black Sabbath-breakers.

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