On This Day: The Italian Job
On the 5th of June in 1969, the seminal 1960s film “The Italian Job” opened at the Plaza cinema in London.
The unusual combination of Noel Coward, Michael Caine, and Benny Hill planning a bullion raid in Italy resulted in memorable scenes of minis driving where they shouldn’t – through shopping arcades and across rooftops.
The audience gets behind Michael Caine’s daring crew and wishes them to succeed with their criminal endeavours but, given the morality of the time where crime couldn’t be shown to pay, the film ended on a literal cliff-hanger to keep both censors and cinema-goers happy.
The censors can envisage the Italian police catches up with the gold-laden bus, whereas the audience, most of whom would have been rooting for the gang, can hope that they get out of their precariously-balanced predicament.
Filled with football fans and shot through with the rousing song by Quincy Jones, “Getta Bloomin’ Move On! (The Self Preservation Society)”, the film is bursting with a confident British swagger, like a football-mad nation that owned the 1960s and had won the previous World Cup.
If you wanted to watch the film on today’s anniversary, Sky viewers can download it on demand or watch it today on Sky Classics at 12.15 this afternoon and 9pm this evening.
“Get your skates on mate!”