Introducing the plans for a new business venture
Running Time: 96 minutes
US Certificate: G UK Certificate: PG
Country: United Kingdom
When you see Michael Caine waist-deep in Dick Dastardly-style car chases, immortal one-liners and light-hearted xenophobia, its easy to see why theres a temptation to pass off The Italian Job as the crowning glory of his career. When you think of todays Caine caricature, you immediately think of the Cockney crim Charlie Croker, pulling off heists and bedding beauties. Its iconic Caine. Its classic Caine. Its also a tad-overrated.
This isnt a bad film. In fact, its pretty good fun. But the simple plot-line of Croker and his gang of likely lads stealing $4million-worth of gold bullion and getting one over on the mafia in the process is hardly gold itself. In fact, it probably owes its cult status predominantly to two or three superb lines delivered to deadpan perfection by Caine (youre only supposed to blow the bloody doors off, etc), than any sort of major comic consistency or outstanding action sequences.
Most of this enjoyable nonsense takes place in the streets of Turin, where our cheeky rapscallions use the passing crowds of England football fans to help cover their naughty wrong-doings. Being made in 1969, its all a bit dated, of course for example, where are all the skinheads jumping up and down on top of bus shelters and trashing pavement cafes?
Theres a long line of familiar British faces among the cast, most notably Noel Coward in his last film acting role as the prison inmate lording it over fellow prisoners and staff alike. Benny Hill takes third billing, though with the high-speed-chases-set-to-silly-music left to the cars, there seems very little for him to actually do. John Le Mesurier, Irene Handl and Robert Powell are also in there somewhere if you know where youre looking.
It's Got: A cliff-hanger ending literally.
It Needs: To get a bloomin move on during the slightly over-long car chase sequence.
DVD Extras A great range of features for a film so old including an audio commentary, deleted scenes, three documentaries (The Great Idea, The Self Preservation Society and Get A Bloomin Move On) and a theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
Mildly entertaining tripe.