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The Italian Job - 40th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] 
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A spectacular robbery of gold bullion in Turin is masterminded by an older gentleman from a British prison where he is lord of all h e surveys.
The greatest Brit-flick crime caper comedy of all time, 1969's The Italian Job towers mightily above its latter-day mockney imitators. After Alfie but before Get Carter Michael Caine is the hippest ex-con around, bedding the birds (several at a time) and spouting immortal one-liners ("You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"). The inheritor of a devious plan to steal gold bullion in the traffic-choked streets of Turin, Caine recruits a misfit team of genial underworld types--including a lecherous Benny Hill and three plummy public-schoolboy rally drivers--and uses the occasion of an England-Italy football match as cover for the heist.
In his final screen appearance, Noel Coward joyfully sends up his own patriotic persona, and there are small though priceless cameos from the likes of Irene Handl and John Le Mesurier. But The Italian Job's real stars are the three Mini Coopers--patriotically decorated red, white and blue--that run rings round every other vehicle in an immortal car-chase sequence, which preserves forever the British public's love affair with the little car. Quincy Jones provided the irreverent music, naturally, while the cliffhanger ending thumbs its nose at anything so un-hip as a resolution. It's all unashamedly jingoistic--ridiculously, gleefully, absurdly so--but the whole sums up the joie de vivre of the 1960s so perfectly that future historians need only look here to learn why the decade was swinging.
On the DVD: The Italian Job disc contains three all-new documentaries--"The Great Idea" (conception), "The Self-Preservation Society" (casting), and "Get a Bloomin' Move On" (stunts)--which dovetail into a good 68-minute "making of" featurette. Contributors include scriptwriter Troy Kennedy Martin and Producer Michael Deeley, who also crops up on the sporadically interesting commentary track with author of The Making of The Italian Job, Matthew Field. The deleted "Blue Danube" waltz scene is also included, with optional commentary. The print is a decent anamorphic transfer of the original 2.35:1 ratio, and the soundtrack has been remastered to Dolby 5.1. The animated Mini Cooper menus set the tone perfectly. --Mark Walker --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The picture is very very impressive. It has been cleaned up really well and makes the film that much better. Blemishes have been removed. I don't remember seeing any, but I imagine that you could if you were sad enough to go through the film frame by frame. Very good picture.
You have two options for sound. A remastered original mono option or Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option. The sound is also good enough. Many people have complained that it's too low, but trust me it's really not that low at all. It still has that old movie kind of sound to it, which adds to its originality.
My favourite extra had to be the deleted scene. Beautifully done and also comes with a commentary explaining why it was cut. The interviews are interesting to watch and the commentaries are interesting to listen to.
All in all I would recommend this Blu-ray to anybody who's a fan, and those who aren't. No collection is complete without it!
We all know "The Italian Job" is a Sixties classic, but what you don't know is that this 40th Anniversary reissue of it (issued today 15 June 2009) is simply off the charts good...
First up is the print - which is GLORIOUS - as pristine as you could hope for and a joy from start to finish. And although it doesn't state it on the outer box, this is the fully restored British Film Institute version, which has been cleaned up frame-by-frame (and those clean shots are used in the "Making Of" extras too). One of those features is the 30th Anniversary reissue trailer from 10 years ago, which uses the famous "...doors off..." van sequence. Untouched - it's covered in scratches and has no definition whatsoever - it allows you see what the film stock did look like as opposed to how beautiful it looks now after restoration.
There are so many scenes that now stand out - as Matt Monro's cheesy song "On Days Like These" plays and the car drives through the Alps in the opening credits - when Charlie comes out of prison as he walks through the gates and Maggie Blye greets him in a stolen car from the Pakistani Embassy - when the three Mini Coopers climb the roof of the football stadium with the Italian cops in pursuit - it's just all BEAUTIFUL. The BFI have also done "Zulu", "The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner" and "Saturday Night And Sunday Morning" and this is up there - done to the same stunning standard as they were (see my reviews).
The extras are generous too (nearly two hours worth):
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The storyline which does take time to build up (like all good stories do) is set around the often used scenario of a loveable english ganster mob performing a blag and getting away with it (almost). The script contains much subtle british humour, and the shots of 60's London with empty streets and classic cars are a joy to behold. All the usual ingredients for films of this genre are there, the initial doubt, the bungled rehersals, and the most unlikely looking bunch of crooks ever seen in the same room that somehow on the day, manage to pull it off. The dialogue is sharp and witty and full to the brim with superb one liners, phrases and sayings, some of which have entered the english language, and how many films script can have that claim to fame?
Michael Caine is peerless as Charlie Crocker, with his unique voice and acting style proving to the be the icing on the cake for this classic British caper. It is his acting and the script that provided an undeniable template for many a British gangster\mob film to follow i.e. Lock Stock \ Snatch \ Layer Cake...
What is worth bearing in mind is that at the time of it's original release (1969) England were very much on a high with the sixties still swinging, we were football world champions, and as a country we were looking forward with optimism to the common market and europe, hence the almost celebratory atmosphere throughout, and the light hearted us against them feel of the whole film.Read more ›
Of course there's no point in talking about it's plot which most people now know by heart anyway. But if you've always liked the film, than prepare yourself to truly love it once you've experienced a glorious Blu-Ray HD transfer, as well as the great enlightening and entertaining Extras that come along with it! Full marks to how a classic on Blu-Ray should be released!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Soit disant parfaite pour certains, l'image délivrée par ce Blu-ray peut déplaire pour la simple raison que tout grain cinéma étant... Read morePublished 1 month ago by oumebaba