The Italian Job

DVD Rating: *****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of The Italian Job
Italian Job
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The quality of this DVD is exceptional. The clarity of the print and the sharpness of the colour is remarkable for a film over 30 years old.

The commentary by Matthew Field, who wrote The Making Of The Italian Job, and producer Michael Deeley is a little disappointing. Field asks the questions and it's obvious that he is in awe of Deeley, or not very good as an interviewer. At one point Deeley suggests, "Do you think we should be saying something over this quite dull sequence?" They don't, because Field doesn't know what to say.

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Despite this discrepancy in communication, interesting facts emerge. Most of the cars were bought from wreckers yards, although Crocker's Aston Martin cost £900. Michael Caine couldn't drive and Peter Collinson hated the ending and didn't want to shoot it. "In fact, we had half a dozen endings," Deeley says. He calls it a patriotic British picture and "the first Eurosceptic movie" and yet the stunt drivers were French.

There is only one Deleted Scene and it would have been barmy to use it, however wonderful it looks. To the strains of The Blue Danube, the three Minis and three police cars perform a delicate ballet in the empty Turin Motor Show site.

There are three Documentaries that are over an hour long. They are fascinating and informative and full of glorious anecdotes. Peter Yates was Deeley's choice for director, but Paramount wanted Collinson, who had only made a couple of movies, one of which was Up The Junction. He was an orphan child, befriended by Coward, who made him his godson and helped him find his first job in the industry.

Robert Evans, head of Paramount, preferred Robert Redford for the role of Crocker, but Deeley insisted on Caine. It was important to retain the British motif of "bloody foreigners!" Kennedy Martin wanted Nicol Williamson for the Coward part, but didn't get his way. "Everybody loved Noel. You expected him to talk all the time, but he didn't. He listened." He was kind and generous with members of the crew.

They talked of it as "Remy Julienne's movie" and the final chase sequences being brought together by the genius of Quincy Jones. Julienne had a reputation as the best stunt driver in Europe and Jones was responsible for the music. They loved Benny Hill, too. He always had a notebook out, taking things down, and was nervous around women. They called him "a very private man."

The producers of the DVD have made a terrific effort and it pays off with these documentaries. Also, the film itself looks as fresh as yesterday.

Reviewed on: 13 Oct 2002
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The Italian Job packshot
Michael Caine and three Mini Coopers pull off gold heist in Turin with the help of a traffic jam.
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Product Code: PHE 8085

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35 widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Commentary by Matthew Field and Michael Deeley; Deleted scenes with commentary by Matthew Field; Making Of documentaries; Trailer; Set up; Scene selection

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