The Italian Job (1969/2003)

This is the self-preservation society
This is the self-preservation society
D: Peter Collinson
Paramount/Oakhurst (Michael Deeley)
UK 1969
100 mins


W: Troy Kennedy Martin
DP: Douglas Slocombe & Norman Warwick 
Ed: John Trumper
Mus: Quincy Jones

Michael Caine (Charlie Croker), Noel Coward (Mr. Bridger), Benny Hill (Prof. Simon Peach), Raf Vallone (Altabini), Rosanno Brazzi (Roger Beckerman)

A British classic of crime, comedy and adventure, adored on it's homeland but no so much elsewhere on the globe.
Cheeky Cockney chappie Michael Caine plays ex-con Charlie Croker who masterminds the theft of gold bullion by staging a traffic jam in Turin and using Mini Coopers for a quick getaway.
The comedy in the build up verges into rather needless slapstick on occasion, but there's also some hilariously iconic moments, the climactic car chase is a stunt riddled extravaganza and enormous fun, complete with an Ealing comedy style ending.
A patriotically English crime caper.

The Italian Job
The Italian Job

D: F. Gary Gray
Paramount (Donald DeLine)
US 2003
110 mins


W: Donna Powers & Wayne Powers [based on the 1969 screenplay by Troy Kennedy Martin]
DP: Wally Pfister
Ed: Richard Francis-Bruce & Christopher Rouse
Mus: John Powell

Mark Wahlberg (Charlie Croker), Charlize Theron (Stella Bridger), Edward Norton (Steve Frazelli), Donald Sutherland (John Bridger), Jason Statham (Handsome Rob), Seth Green (Lyle), Mos Def (Left Ear)

The Italian Job is a 1969 crime caper and a British classic. This is not The Italian Job.
The film may start in Italy but it doesn't take long to relocate to the United States and start ticking off all the usual cliches and going all Ocean's Eleven with the plot.
Of course, a revenge subplot has to be wedged in, otherwise why else would we want to root for the thieves at the heart of the story?
The only connection this has to the original film is two characters carrying the same name as 1969 counterparts and a trio of Mini's are still used in the final chase. There's also a wink & a nudge reference but it's more of an embarrassment than a homage.

Mark Wahlberg & Seth Green in The Italian Job
Mark Wahlberg & Seth Green in The Italian Job