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 <email@example.com>
The opening drive during the credits sequence was clearly shot in the same rugged, lifeless landscape used for the final sequence with the bus. As the credits end, the camera cuts to Beckerman in the car, then when we cut to the exterior again, suddenly we are surrounded by greenery and a completely different landscape, as the car approaches the tunnel. See more »
In a sense I was disappointed to find that I actually liked The Italian Job. For after decades of imitations and student new-lad pub bores crowbarring "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" into conversation, I was all prepared to hate it.
Yet The Italian Job is a good film. A very good film in fact. First-class direction, all pans and upshot angles, and slyly political, though its "Cool Britannia" ethos almost seems to parody devotees of the Union Jack. Anyone watching this film for reconfirmation of the Empire is mistaken, though the team's final downfall notably comes from the only non-Caucasian member.
The humour is self-conscious, but never so that it goes too far; it's always witty. Michael Caine is the archetype Michael Caine, all pointing finger and raised-voice declarations, the version mimics love to portray. Noël Coward is able support in a straightish role, though the wonderful Benny Hill parodies his own image, thus diluting his already fine (And misunderstood) ironic take on the sexual pervert.
Screen realism is not an issue here, with a Mafia cameo who are hardly Don Corleone. Women are also marginalised, with only Maggie Blye getting a largish role as Caine's girlfriend, Lorna. This is the same girlfriend who hires six women to help celebrate his release from prison, and refers to fellow womankind as "birds". Yet while the film is a "boys only" club, it's far from a testosterone-led car chase, as Coward's appearance should attest. And what makes the final climatic chase so rewarding is that it's carefully, and intelligently, set up. The film is metaphorical where you wouldn't expect it to be, and well-acted all round.
All of which leaves me struggling for a way to end this review. Hang on a minute, lads, I've got an idea -
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