The Italian Job is a heist movie like no other and is one of the movies which made the career of Sir Michael Caine. The original movie is regularly lauded as one of the greatest heist films of all time and is often seen in Top Movie lists from critics everywhere. In 2003 a new version was made in a very different setting and way, with very different cast members.
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In the original movie of The Italian Job, which came out in 1969, Sir Michael Caine led the charge as Charlie Croker, flanked by Noel Coward as crimelord Mr Bridger, Benny Hill as Professor Peach and Rag Vallone as Mafia boss Altabani.
Croker’s girlfriend, Lorna, was played by Maggie Blye, while various cast members including Tony Beckley and Fred Emney played members of the crew, and Rossano Brazzi played Croker’s comrade in thievery, Roger Beckerman.
In the remake, there are far more big names involved in the crew, many of whom have very specific skills which aided the mission.
For a start, the movie featured an American crew, rather than the original cockney gang, and their gadgets and efforts were far more high tech than the original.
The cast of The Italian Job – original vs remake
Charlie Croker and his girlfriend in The Italian Job
However, one character remained in both the original and the remake: Charlie Croker.
In the 2003 movie, however, this person was played by Mark Wahlberg, while the main female role, now called Stella, was played by Charlize Theron.
To make things more complicated and add some further jeopardy, Stella, a tech-savvy safecracker, is the daughter of Bridger, who was the man funding and giving the OK to the gang in the original movie.
However, in the remake, Bridger, played by Donald Sutherland, is an old-school safecracker and long-time partner of Croker’s.
Other roles include Edward Norton as Steve Frazelli, the “inside man” who betrays them and leaves them for dead, while Jason Statham is Handsome Rob, the getaway driver and bonafide ladies’ man.
Some of the cast of the original The Italian Job
Some of the cast of the remake of The Italian Job
Seth Green, known for his roles in the Austin Powers movies, plays Lyle, the team’s computer geek, while rapper Mos Def plays Left Ear, the explosives and demolition expert.
The final difference with this movie is, despite it referencing The Italian Job, this story is about revenge, where the group are planning on taking down Steve Frazelli, who left them for dead in a heist gone wrong.
This time, they see he is laundering his takings through a Ukrainian jewellery store, and is living it up in LA, meaning this story does not focus on one job in one location.
Of course, there is one aspect of the movie which is kept in place: the use of Mini Coopers.
The Italian Job is on Sky One at 9pm on April 18