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» Film Evaluation: THE ITALIAN JOB (1969)

THE ITALIAN JOB. Paramount Photos, UK/US, 1969. Michael Caine, Noël Coward, Benny Hill, Maggie Blye, Rossano Brazzi. Screenwriter: Troy Kennedy-Martin. Director: Peter Collinson. At present streaming on a number of platforms, together with Amazon Prime Video (however ending there tomorrow).

After I noticed this film on Amazon Prime on Monday, however that it was ending there quickly, I assumed I’d higher lastly see it whereas I might, and I’m glad I did. I noticed the remake when it got here out, however how I’d let this one get by me for therefore lengthy, I’ve no rationalization.

It’s a heist movie, after all, and as traditional, heist movies take a very long time getting round to the heist itself: the planning, the gathering collectively of the folks to tug it off, the obstacles they face whereas doing so. (On this case, since this explicit heist is being pulled off in Italy by a excessive stage gang of British drivers and miscellaneous thugs beneath the management of Michael Caine’s character, and the general backing, moneywise, of prison mastermind Noël Coward, safely ensconced in penitentiary, it’s the Mafia).

However in all heist movies, or 99.5 p.c of them, as meticulously deliberate because the are, and this one completely is, one thing has to go flawed. A hitch in timing someplace alongside the best way, a slip-up in timing, a short little bit of dialog overheard by somebody who shouldn’t have been there. The viewers, anticipating precisely this, even whereas watching occasions happen like clockwork, even when improvised when want be, solely wants to sit down again and wait. Second halves of heist movies are at all times the most effective.

And the mix of Michael Caine (film), Noël Coward (stage), and Benny Hill (TV star) could appear to have pulled out of a hat at random, however every in their very own method have been on the high of their inventive fields on the time, and so they’re the glue on the core that holds the movie collectively (some greater than others).

As soon as the heist will get underway in earnest, a few of the storylines get dropped utterly. Michael Caine’s woman buddy for one, and the Mafia, surprisingly, for one more. What I believe I’ll do, although, is cease right here, quite than analyze the film any longer (many others have) and amuse you with some pictures I took alongside the best way. And by the best way, I cherished the final line of dialogue: “Grasp on a minute lads, I’ve obtained an ideal concept.”


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