At the movies: Rewatching The Italian Job


When Peter Collinson’s The Italian Job first debuted in 1969, The Times of London called it a “one-song musical,” and Leonard Maltin described it as “forgettable… an average caper film” with “a truly bizarre ending.” It was a dismal failure in the United States. As soon as Michael Caine arrived in America to promote it and saw the marketing campaign that depicted him with a naked woman and a machine gun, when there were neither naked women nor guns in the movie, he claimed he got on the next plane and went home. Yet the film has managed not only to endure but become a cult classic, as beloved as Bullitt and Smokey and the Bandit.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/02/16/rewatching-the-italian-job


I will have to watch the Italian Job if for no other reason to see a bunch of Minis in a whacky car chase scene. So far to date, my favorite car chase was in one of the Pink Panther movies where Inspector Cluseau (sp) was chasing an exotic dream machine (Ferrari? Maeserati? I forget which) all over Rome while driving a “speed demon” 2-cylinder Bianchina. I laughed my hiney off while watching it.
EuGene Smith, Clinton, Ark.


Enjoyed this movie and LOVED the chase scene! Nothing like a bunch of Minis acting like teenagers in a chase scene BUT did you have to tell me that Michael Caine didn’t even know how to drive?!?!? I really didn’t need to know that!!! I’ll be sure not to ever watch that one again!


AH, critics. Not one of them can watch a film for the pure fun of it. Improbable, impossible, bizarre, crazy thought it may be, this film is FUN. When I need a good laugh and a marvelous theme song with great scenery (the Stelvio pass in Italy) and a fine opening theme song, this is it.


I remember driving my Mini to Dallas’ Gemini drive-in and getting in free as long as I parked it by the concession stand. Haven’t seen the film in almost a week. starting to have withdrawal… Guess I’ll just have to get in the '66 Cooper and go for a spin.