The Italian Job (1969)

by Tom Ingram

Genre Crime; Caper
People Michael Caine; Noel Coward a.; Benny Hill; Raf Vallone; Tony Beckley; Maggie Blye; Graham Payn; Harry Baird; Quincy Jones m.
/10 7

On his release from prison, a dapper career criminal (Caine) asks an imprisoned crime lord (Coward) for help with a daring heist in Italy.

This is a very 60s movie. By today’s standards it’s sluggishly paced and the action scenes are underwhelming. We’re shortchanged not only on character development, but on details of the heist, which seems to be mostly planned and executed offscreen. It makes you wonder, even after having seen the movie, what the hour and a half were spent on. The answer is: car chases. These go on for much longer than they need to, taking on a sort of hypnotic quality.

There are some funny bits, particularly with Noel Coward, but you can’t help but feel like you have no stake in the outcome. It’s entertaining enough, but not, as some folks will say, a great film.

1h35m; 1969; Colour