Scuola di Ladri (transl. School for Thieves), in a 1986 Italian movie by Neri Parenti. It had a sequel, Scuola di Ladri - Part 2, produced in the following year.
The protagonists of this movie are three cousins unaware of each other: Dalmazio (Paolo Villaggio) is a security guard at a bank, Amalio (Lino Banfi) is a dog sitter, and Egisto (Massimo Boldi) is a street vendor and car window washer. All three of them, however, are both incompetent and unlucky, and they struggle to make an honest living.
The opportunity of a lifetime presents itself to them when they are suddenly contacted by the wealthy Aliprando Siraghi, an elderly thief who has ended up in a wheelchair and reveals that he is a distant uncle of theirs. Aliprando proposes to co-opt them into his thieving activities, convincing them it is their only chance to emerge from mediocrity and poverty. At the end of a long training period, filled with comical mishaps, the three cousins begin their larcenous activities, with Aliprando as their shady patron and backer.
The films contain examples of:
- Amusing Injuries: Amalio, Egisto and Dalmazio suffer lots of comical mishaps and injuries, but they always end up no worse for wear a couple scenes after at most.
- Angry Guard Dog: In the sequel, Aliprando has a guide dog named Satan who also doubles as an over-aggressive guard dog. It seems to hate Dalmazio the most and wastes no opportunity to scare or bite him.
- Black Comedy: Even when people get killed or planes get shot down, it's all played for dark laughs.
- The Ditz: While none of the three cousins is particularly smart, Dalmazio takes the cake.
- Evil Cripple: Aliprando, a master thief who was forced to give up his criminal lifestyle after losing the use of his legs in an accident. Subverted when it turns out that he was just faking his disability.
- Evil Mentor: Aliprando.
- Femme Fatale: Marisa in the first movie, Susanna in the second.
- Large Ham: Egisto. Being played by Massimo Boldi, it's only to be expected.
- Manipulative Bastard: Aliprando is shockingly good at stringing his nephews along.
- Named After Someone Famous: In-universe. Aliprando's bodyguard in the first movie is called Franco Nero, after the famous actor and filmmaker.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: The three cousins may not be very smart, and they have lines they will not cross, but they often show themselves to be rather competent when pulling off heists. At the end of the first movie, they manage to steal the World Cup without Aliprando making any plan for them.
- Obfuscating Disability: Aliprando pulls this off in both movies in order to manipulate his nephews. In the first, he pretends to be paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. In the second, he pretends to have gone blind.
- Villain Protagonist: As bumbling and silly as they are, Egisto, Dalmazio and Amalio are still thieves.