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THE ITALIAN JOBORIGIONAL ENG-JOCKTHERIPPER torrent
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A perennial favourite on the Best British Films of All Time lists, The Italian Job was, surprisingly, not a big hit on release. A poor US marketing campaign - which featured a naked woman on a gangster's lap, somewhat inappropriate for a cheeky little comedy caper - killed it dead. But the small screen proved to be the perfect medium for its steady climb from quirky unknown to much-loved classic. Indeed, it's a film ideally suited to DVD and video, as it has an absurdly high classic moment rate, which will have you reaching for the remote to watch again and again.
Producer Michael Deeley calls it "the first eurosceptic film" and it wears its Rule Britannia heart firmly on its sleeve, from the royalist attitudes of Mr Bridger to the iconoclastic red, white and blue minis. The film's producers were offered massive inducements by Fiat to use Italian cars throughout the film, but stuck by their conviction that the getaway cars could only ever be Minis, despite the fact that this cost them financially.
As for plot, you can tick all the boxes, as every heist movie staple is represented here. Mr Bridger (Coward) is treated like royalty in prison and still manages to run the largest criminal empire in Britain. He is approached by former inmate Charlie Croker (a perfectly cast Caine) to back a scheme to steal $4,000,000 in gold from Fiat. This involves an ingenious rigging of the Turin traffic computer to cause the world's largest traffic jam and then the infamous getaway through the alleys, lanes and sewers. In addition, the plan has to be carried out right under the noses of the Mafia, who have already killed the originator of the plan, Beckerman (Rosanno Brazzi).
Right from the opening scene, in which Brazzi eases his little red sporty number through the Italian Alps to the sounds of "On Days Like These" by Matt Munro, the whole enterprise exudes a sense of cocky exuberance that's been sadly lacking in cinema recently. There's some lovely little unique touches, such as the getaway drivers being upper class lads and computer genius Benny Hill being bribed by appealling to his not-so-secret passion for larger ladies ("Are they big? I like 'em big."). It's these little quirks which prevent the film from straying into cliché or - worse - Carry On territory, which is always the danger with 60s British comedies.
Even the most minor roles in the supporting cast are a veritable Who's Who of British comedy: Irene Handl as Benny Hill's sister; John LeMesurier as the prison governer; Sir Harry Secombe as a guard; Robert Powell as one of Charlie's gang; Simon Dee as a fey tailor; the list goes on.
Everything about this film is perfectly judged, right down to the literal cliffhanger of an ending, necessitated by the movie code in the UK at the time which prevented you showing crooks getting away with the proceeds of their endeavours (Peter Ustinov's Hot Millions in 1968 had to come up with a similar soft-shoe shuffle around their ending).
Special mention must go to screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin, a TV veteran who bought the original idea from his brother Ian, switched the heist from London to Turin and injected some inspired dialogue and set pieces into the mix. And director Collinson, who was Coward's adopted son, ensures that it all clips along at a brisk pace. Easily the best heist movie ever made.
The Italian Job was given the remake treatment in 2003