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"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"—Charlie Croker, after Arthur blows up the panel truck they've been practicing with
For the 2003 film, see here.
A 1969 film starring Michael Caine, involving him being let out of prison and gathering a gang of bank robbers together to rob a van full of gold. Involves one of the best car chases in cinema (with Mini Coopers) and one of the most famous lines in cinema, when someone uses slightly too much explosive on a van during a test.
A highly popular British film and often repeated on TV. Years later an episode of MacGyver, "Thief of Budapest", lifted most of the film's iconic car chase, using creative editing to transpose it from Turin to Hungary!
This film contains examples of:
- Affably Evil: Mr Bridger especially, who is polite and well mannered at all times. He is however such a ruthless criminal mastermind, he's got the entire prison including the Wardens terrified of him.
- Badass Boast: Charlie tells the Mafia boss that if he kills them, Bridger will have every Italian establishment in major cities across England smashed and every Italian driven into the sea. And the scary thing is, he's probably not lying.
- Badass Driver: A number of characters.
- Black and Grey Morality: The Affably Evil Brits and the Evilly Affable Mafia.
- Blatant Lies: Charlie and the Garage Owner who maintain the illusion that Charlie's been on holiday, knowing full well that he's just gotten out of the nick.
- Butt Monkey: Arthur.
Arthur But Charlie, me in the back with my asthma?!
- Cue Death Glare from Charlie and everyone falls silent*
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Charlie, who gets caught "on the job" with 3 naked women, by his girlfriend.
- Cliff Hanger: Literally.
- The Crime Job
- Cool Car: This movie has a Lamborghini Miura, an Aston Martin DB4, two Jaguar E-types, several Alfa Romeo police cars, a Bedford VAL coach, and of course, the three Mini Cooper S's which out-drive them all.
- Covers Always Lie: The iconic film poster features a naked woman, money, and a gun as a means of attracting the audience, and also implies more romance and violence than the film actually has.
- Although to be fair, the (soon to be) naked woman and gun do make a brief appearance in an early scene.
- Creator Cameo: That lunatic hanging on the back of the bus when the Minis drive on board is the director Peter Collinson.
- Dead Hat Shot: The Mafia victim at the start of the film leaves behind his sunglasses and cigarette.
- Driving Into a Truck: The three Mini Coopers make their getaway by driving up into the back of a converted bus.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Numerous cars get pushed over cliffs. While the wrecks are spectacular, none of them explode except for the very last one, which goes up massively and rather spontaneously.
- Evil Versus Evil: The "good guys" are English criminals and the "villains" are the Italian Mafia.
- Gayngster: Camp Freddy and his gang, and arguably Mr. Bridger too, given Noel Coward's real life sexual preference.
- Mr Bridger's 'assistant' was Coward's real life partner. Because Coward had started his descent into dementia by theis point, his partner was there to help him, and provide a familiar face.
- Great White Hunter: Croker pretends to be this when trying to explain his long absence to the garage manager looking after his Aston.
Manager: You must have shot an awful lot of tigers, sir.
Croker: Yes, I used a machine gun.
- Have a Gay Old Time: "Camp Freddy, everybody in the world is bent!" Didn't help that the line was delivered by Noel Coward...
- Bent in this context means 'crooked'. It's normal slang and unlikely the second allusion would have been meant.
- I Call It Vera: Possibly an Ur-Example, Charlie refers to his grappling hook as "Hazel".
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Charlie. He may play around and frequently upset his girlfriend, but he clearly cares enough about her not to have her get hurt if they get pinched doing the job.
- Leitmotif: Bridger has "Rule Britannia" on harpsichord.
- Literal Cliff Hanger: "Hang on a minute lads, I've got a great idea! Err..."
- The Royal Society of Chemistry ran a competition to solve that one- this was the result.
- Luxury Prison Suite: Mr. Bridger's situation
- The Mafia: Or "the Maffya" as Mr. Bridger pronounces it.
- Mood Whiplash: The impossibly stylish intro where you're cruising around the beautiful Alps in your Lamborghini Miura, set to the dulcet tones of Matt Monro... then KABOOM.
- No Ending
- No Kill Like Overkill: The van in question.
- Product Placement: Subverted. Fiat offered "hero" cars for the chase scenes, but the producers went with (purchased) Minis instead for patriotic reasons.
- It goes further than that. Every single vehicle used by Croker's Gang was Made in Britain.
- Fiat still pops up in several places in the movie however. The Minis briefly take cover among some Fiat 500s at a dealership, and later take a lap on the Fiat Lingotto factory rooftop test track.
- Fiat is explicitly mentioned in the movie, though - the gold Croker stole belonged to them.
- In fact Averted: The film did originally approach BMC (the manufacturers of the Mini at the time), and after much effort convinced them to part with 6. Other 9 or so used had to be bought.
- Refuge in Audacity: Charlie breaks back into the same prison he's just been released from, armed only with a crowbar and grappling hook "Hazel" and somehow manages to get inside Bridger's locked Private Bathroom, simply to tell him his plan... and then leaves, with no-one ever the wiser.
- The entire Italian Job heist itself is this.
- Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: The Mafia are presented this way, although technically, it is the British criminals who are muscling in on them and it's implied that the theft will destabilize the Italian economy.
- Quintessential British Gentleman
- Snicket Warning Label
- Shame If Something Happened: "This your car? Pretty car." * crunch*
- Sharp-Dressed Man : Charlie in spades.
- Stalker Shrine: Mr. Bridger is a very loyal subject of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Steal the Surroundings: The crew does this twice: once with a standard safe and once with an entire armored truck.
- Stuff Blowing Up: A certain van.
Charlie Croker: You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!
- Sympathetic Criminal
- Television Geography: the car chase makes no sense geographically, it's just designed to show off Turin.
- The Chick: Lorna, the only woman in Charlie's team.
- Upperclass Twit: The three "chinless wonders" are initially presented like this.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Professor gets pinched by the Polizia for harassing a "BIG Woman!" on a tram, then disappears from the rest of the film and we never find out what happened to him. No doubt however, it was probably hilarious.
- The gangsters are last seen trying to find out how Charlie's gang planned to get out of the traffic jam. They're left as Karma Houdinis.
- Wicked Cultured: Mr Bridger.
- Chris, one of the getaway drivers gets the landing wrong.
Chris: T-t-terribly sorry, Charles.