The Italian Job is a cult english crime caper set in London and Turin, Italy. Released in 1969 it’s full of 60′s optimism and despite being dumb in parts it contains some interesting highlights including the infamous (& ridiculous) Mini Cooper getaway scene.
This film is hugely popular inside the UK and it’s not hard to see why, it’s more British than the Queen’s Butler’s Union Jack boxer shorts. It’s all there: tea in the lounge, lines like “terribly sorry Charlie” and even a character played by Benny Hill who is unsurprisingly obsessed with fat women’s bottoms.
Other points of note:
- It Features an early depiction of computer hacking by replacing spools of magnetic tape from a mainframe which makes sounds like a Dalek
- In the climactic getaway scene, each stunt invariably ends with a clumsy Italian Cop car crashing through a balsa wood wall, or ending up in a river or teetering off the edge of a building, only to be replaced by another identical one the next time the camera gets back to the Mini Coopers.
- A character called Camp Freddy who wears pink suits
- An unfortunately depressing (& racist) turn of events at the end where the only black member of team starts acting all crazy and ruins the whole caper for everybody. What is up with that?
Now this is more like it! Get Carter shows a brutal, more realistic depiction of the London underworld. According to the internet, Sir Michael Caine (real name Sir Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, Jr) deliberately took this role in order to dispell the notions displayed in the Italian Job that gangsters are all fun loving dandies too busy sipping tea to break someone’s kneecaps.
You don’t really find out what’s going on until about a quarter of the way into the movie so I’m not going to spoil it for you. In fact I think I’ll end the review here, all that needs to be said is that this flick is well deserving of it’s reputation as a classic.
Five Caines out of five
(I should add that the movie almost lost a Caine for featuring sex scenes where both participants have teeth like a row of tombstones)