The Italian Job

1969

The Italian Job

Critics Consensus

The Italian Job is a wildly fun romp that epitomizes the height of Britannia style.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 29

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 71,086
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Movie Info

The quintessential British caper film of the 1960s, The Italian Job is a flashy, fast romp that chases a team of career criminals throughout one of the biggest international gold heists in history. Michael Caine is Charlie Croker, a stylish robber and skirt-chaser just out of British prison. Shunning rehabilitation for recidivism, Croker takes over "The Italian Job," a complicated plan to hijack gold bullion from Italy -- right from underneath the noses of the Italian Police and the Mafia. The job, whose original mastermind was murdered, clearly requires the sponsorship of a richer, more established criminal than Croker. He turns to the auspices of the eccentric Mr. Bridger (Noël Coward in his last film role), a suave, regal, incarcerated English crime boss with a peculiar fascination with the Queen. Bridger provides Croker with a quirky group of Britain's most infamous computer hackers (including a lascivious Benny Hill), bank robbers, hijackers, and getaway drivers -- the ex-con is soon well on his way to relieving Italy of the gold. ~ Aubry Anne D'Arminio, Rovi

Cast

Michael Caine
as Charlie Croker
Benny Hill
as Prof. Simon Peach
Noel Coward
as Mr. Bridger
Raf Vallone
as Altabani
Tony Beckley
as Freddie
Rossano Brazzi
as Beckerman
Irene Handl
as Miss Peach
Fred Emney
as Birkenshaw
Harry Baird
as Big William
Lelia Goldoni
as Mme. Beckerman
George Innes
as Bill Bailey
Robert Rietty
as Police Chief
Simon Dee
as Shirtmaker
Derek Ware
as Rozzer
Barry Cox
as Chris
John Clive
as Garage Manager
Arnold Diamond
as Senior Computer Room Official
Alastair Hunter
as Warder in Prison Cinema
Frank Kelly
as Prisoner in cell
View All

News & Interviews for The Italian Job

Critic Reviews for The Italian Job

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (5)

  • What The Italian Job has to revive the viewer of the drowsy first 70 minutes is a whopping good third-act mini-car chase, one which will inevitably compared to the daredevil hill vaulting of Bullitt.

    Sep 4, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The brio and ambition of The Italian Job can't be doubted and Caine has enormous charisma...

    Jun 14, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Is there a film - certainly a British film - that delivers a greater infusion of pure joy than The Italian Job?

    Jan 1, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Caine and Coward play a splendid game of verbal tennis, but by the final reel the laughs are lost in an anthology of dull and deafening car chases.

    Apr 21, 2010 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • The cast does its stuff to good effect. Coward, as the highly patriotic, business-like master crook, brings all his imperturbable sense of irony and comedy to his role.

    May 6, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • As a modest fun movie, it works, much helped by deep casting contrasts and a nice sense of absurd proportions.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Italian Job

  • May 11, 2012
    Man, Michael Caine is so absurdly English that he's starting to bleed over into other European ethnicities, like Italy. No, but seriously though, I don't know if it's because his English accent is so thick that he probably couldn't even pass for Australia, let alone Italian or what, but I know that Caine is sticking with his own team, much like the film itself, so don't be fooled by the title, because this film is as British as tea and crumpets. Seriously, they stopped just short of speeding up that admittedly pretty awesome final act car chase sequences and setting it to Benny Hill music, an idea they probably already had in mind until they realized that it would be just too ridiculous, which is why they just settled with getting the actual Benny Hill. Well, I guess that means that the absurdly loose 2003 "remake" was, at the very least, pretty faithful to one part of the tone of its original, for although it wasn't playing to the Brits, it was still so blasted patriotic and American that they actually had a deep voiced British guy in the cast, and it doesn't get much more American of a heist-action film than that, especially when you consider that they didn't just get your regular deep-voiced Brit, they got Jason Statham, the most American British action star working today. Wow, the Stath-Man really has found a pretty big market over here in the states, even though he too is so British that I'd imagine you'd have an easier time getting Michael Caine to do an American accent, and he probably couldn't stretch very far from his roots to save his life. Well, at least he's the more diverse actor to take on the Charlie Croker role, because Mark Wahlberg is stuck being either a nice bad guy or a mean good guy (He's not as layered of a performers as it sounds, trust me and, well, every other person who has seen more than three of his films), whereas Caine has played a war observer in "The Quiet American", Austin Powers' dad in, well, you can guess, a pothead in "Children of Men", a vengeful killer in "Harry Brown", a magician in "The Prestige" and, of course, Batman's butler, Alfred, the role he was born to play... because he had kind of been playing a different variation of the same cocky cockney role in most every film he did beforehand. Oh well, that doesn't make him any less charming now, and it certainly didn't make him any less charming back in 1969, yet that good ol' fashion English charm isn't quite enough to drown out this film's missteps, which are almost as pronounced as the accents in this film. With all of this excessive dragging, especially during the development segment, you'd think that this film would put in more than just a tiny bit of development, but no, it just goes on with very limited exposition and engagement value. It doesn't help that the film's focus is all over the place, momentarily glossing over one major thing before it jarringly jumps into an overlong meditation on something that's just barely above, if not at the line of cuttable. It's a messy film of inconsistencies and excess fat around the edges of its storyline, such as it is, and on top of that, it all comes down to a pretty big cop-out ending. Still, if this film is consistent about nothing else, then it's its being such an absurdly British film, so much so that it even has that usual dryness that you couldn't run away from back in later-mid-1900s English cinema, partially because it would bore and tire you out so much that you'd have trouble summoning enough energy to run. This is a very slow, very somber film, and unnecessarily so, being so slow as to contradict as somewhat witty general structure, and in a situation like that, if you want to have an experience that's even mildly rewarding, then you better be able to make up for that slowness with the wit. Well, sure enough, as spotty and slow as the film is, it gets you there eventually, and it's an experience worth waiting for. To me, there was nothing really impacting or even all that memorable about the project, as it's so brief and disengaging as well as rather conventional to other films of its type and era, yet that doesn't mean that the film doesn't win you over by the end. What I failed to mention about the character is that they are all so very not good, with an unrelenting cocky attitude and few likable qualities, with little exposition making matters worse. The character asepct to a film facing problems such as these is typically disastrous, and yet, while our heroes are still anything but heroic, it's hard to not follow them along fairly comfortably, almost entirely because of the humor of the film, which simply must be sharp if it's going to not only make up for the shoddy character aspects, but almost make up for the extreme slowness. The film disengages with its dryness, yet you keep coming back, as the humor is riddled with that classic English wit and snap, with eccentricities and other unique touches to the "human" aspects serving as further supplementation to the charm, as it makes our character feel distinguished enough to be rather engaging, even with their unlikable traits and limited development, and for livliness that strong, credit not only goes out to the charm provided by screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin, but to the charm provided by, well, the underused, but still really good soundtrack, as well as Douglas Slocombe for his very handsome and fabulously-staged cinematography and John Trumper's pretty decent editing, both of which come into especially fine play during the really well-done heist segment (Man, speaking of jarringly inconsistent focus). Outside of that, the film is really brought to life by the performers, all of whom give a presence of distinctive charisma that gives the film extra livliness, while that very livliness goes fully conceived by the true leading man skills of Jude Law, Sr.-I mean, a young Michael Caine (Hey, he kind of looked like him I think), whose classically effortless charisma and lead presence leave him to comfortably embody the Charlie Croker character and make it his own (Sorry, Mark Wahlberg), while owning the film itself with winning charisma that far transcends the unredeemed flaws in his character. With all its hitches, this job has quite the strong team on it, and one that really livens up a generally involving central focus. Again, the film's general story structure is spotty and a tad disjointed, yet its overall concepts are intriguing and complex with a somewhat conventional, yet generally refreshing basic structure. True, those promising concepts go let down a fair bit in the execution, yet with all the missteps in the film that knock you clean out of it, there's still plenty that stands its ground and carries you through this picture, even with its many faults. Overall, the film feel underdeveloped and overdrawn, as well inconsistent in its focus and consistent in its dry slowness, and those are all flaws that keep the film from being terribly memorable and could have blown the project all together, yet the effort goes saved by fine style and an intriguing central focus, as well as rock-solid and somewhat unique punch-up in the dialogue and humor, giving it wit and livliness that goes powered quite far by a colorful cast, headed by the electrically charismatic Michael Caine, whose effortlessly fiery lead presence leaves him to carry the Charlie Croker character and stand as one of the biggest carriers of Peter Collinson's (Wow, now that's British) "The Italian Job", a heavily flawed but generally quite enjoyable experience. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jan 12, 2012
    Very very very fun and enjoyable to watch. I didn't see the remake but I can't imagine that the charm can be replicated here. I absolutely loved the ending.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 12, 2011
    Peter Collinson's The Italian Job is an action classic that is a near flawless heist film. What makes this film standout is the great cast of phenomenal talent. This film is a great blend of thrills, action and witty comedy. Leading the cast is the great Michael Caine as Charlie Croker, who is absolutely wonderful on-screen. Some may find that the film may be a bit slow, but what keeps you engaged in the story are the performances and the anticipation of the heist. Peter Collinson definitely knows how to build up the tension. What makes this film great is the combinations of comic relief, mixed with thrilling action, and add to that great performances. For me the actors that truly stood out were Michael Caine, Noel Coward (in his final role) and Benny Hill. If you're looking for one of the heist films, then give this one a shot. This film is constantly exciting with one of the best chase sequences ever put on film. The heist itself is the standout of the film, and I personally feel it's a far more inventive sequence that the 2003 remake. This film is timeless, and is just as exciting and fun as it was back then. The Italian Job is a must see for every action buff. When watching this classic, you realize how great films were back in the 60's. The film does have a few imperfections, but it succeeds due to solid directing, an engaging plot and great cast. Watching The Italian Job, you realize, they don't make action films like they used to. This is a wonderfully crafted heist film, and quite possibly the best ever in the genre.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2011
    This classic film was ruined 8 years ago by a pointless remake that had nothing to do with the original classic that is The Italian Job (1969). A film that made Michael Caine famous is among my favorite films because of its fantastic action sequences considering the films budget and its outrageous comedy. It's famous car chase involving the 3 mini coopers is hilarious and is always a spectacle to watch. The Italian Job has hilarious wit and a humourous style that could be loved by almost anyone.
    Directors C Super Reviewer

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