Charlie's got a 'Job' to do. Having just left prison, he finds one of his friends has attempted a high risk job in Italy right under the nose of the Mafia. Charlie's friend doesn't get very far so Charlie takes over the 'Job'. Using three Mini Coopers, a couple of Jaguars and a bus, he hopes to bring Torino to a standstill, steal the Gold and escape. Written by
Andy Topham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
August 2001: To mark the completion of a new ten kilometer sewer in Hull, England, Yorkshire Water re-created the famous scene where the Minis escape through the tunnels of Turin, this time using the recently-released new-shape BMW Mini. See more »
Gold weighs 19300 kg/m³ - so the mentioned and stolen half ton (be it metric or not makes no big difference) of gold would be a cube with a side length of about one foot. However, the amount of gold shown looks more like one cubic meter. See more »
A rollicking heist flick with the best car chase ever put on film
"The Italian Job" is a comedic heist film that is mostly renowned for the extended car chase getaway. In it, a thief recently released from prison (Michael Caine) organizes a scheme to steal a shipment of gold bars by creating a massive traffic jam and using a trio of Mini Coopers to escape with the loot.
The cast is pretty decent with the always dependable Caine perfectly cast as charismatic thief Charlie Croker, Noel Coward as the incarcerated backer of the titular job and Benny Hill in a small role as a computer expert obsessed with plump women. Besides that there's no-one worth remarking on and not much acting that isn't up to snuff.
The script is bold and inventive with much of the humour being understated and unpredictable. The heist itself is clever but the staging of the getaway is a real work of art. Again, there is an inventiveness that is quite refreshing. Nevertheless, I was starting to get a little tired of waiting for the heist to be set in motion. Finally, the ending caps the proceedings in memorable fashion.
The direction by Peter Collinson is solid and above average for an action-comedy. The music, handled by Quincy Jones, is memorable but also characteristic of the era, meaning that it is unlikely to appeal to all tastes.
If you're looking for a lighthearted crime caper this is just the ticket. I particularly recommend the film since it includes what is, in my opinion, the best car chase ever filmed.
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