Michael Caine, to many is Harry Palmer, aka the Cold War spy. As one of the most evergreen actors of our time, hardly ever cast in a bad film, his more recent work also has to be admired.
But to my mind and the films I was brought up with, these three are Iconic Caine and indeed, iconic British cinema. On TV through the years, collectively I've sat entertained solidly as a young boy, a youth and now into middle age, countless times by them.
The Italian Job was every young boy's dream film, loads of cheeky cars, mischievous Cockney slang and a caper that was both adult but still slightly silly. Alfie was fairly taboo breaking drama that simply worked by Caine's charming and personable connection through the camera, to the audience, narrating 'talking head' style, long before it came popular. Zulu, a winter's Sunday afternoon classic, is full of colour, characterisation and spectacle, with a great John Barry score. Along with the much earlier The Four Feathers, this made the stiff upper lip brigade accessible and approachable and whatever our views now, we actually do gun for our guys, in the face of certain decimation.
They (Hollywood) remade both Alfie and The Italian Job; both reasonable efforts because they didn't follow the exact formula and made them different enough.
The boxset itself is a chunky affair as it is made of decent materials and the separate DVDs are in full size cases. These classics may now be considered rather old fashioned and musty, by some, but in some ways were the great Brit flicks before film making here albeit crashed and burned in the 1970's.