How well do you remember The Italian Job?

Torrance Grey

Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

This 1969 film, starring Michael Caine as a dapper thief chasing a small fortune, remains one of the U.K.'s favorite crime films -- with a considerable following in the rest of the world! Relive the thrills with our quiz!

Who is responsible for Roger Beckerman's fatal car crash?

Beckerman smashes into an earthmover at high speed, coming out of a tunnel in the Alps. The Mafia soldiers, who parked the earthmover in his way, then use it to shove his car (and body) down a ravine into a river. For good measure, they even throw a funeral wreath after it.

Where is Charlie Croker when we first see him?

The first scene with Charlie was shot in Kilmainham Gaol, in Dublin, Ireland. Its exterior, though, was the disturbingly-named Wormwood Scrubs prison, outside London.

When Lorna picks Charlie up from prison, whose car is she driving?

Lorna stole the ambassador's car, or someone stole it for her. She wanted to make sure that Charlie went home in style.

What kind of car does Charlie drive?

It was Roger Beckerman who drove a Miura, one of the first Italian "supercars." The filmmakers threw a wrecked old Miura down the hillside in the opening scene. To use a viable Miura might have caused a riot in Italy.

What does Charlie keep under the bonnet (hood) of his car?

After his release from prison, Charlie gets his car out of the storage garage and retrieves the money. Pro tip: Do not actually hide anything you value under the hood of a car that's NOT in storage -- high temperatures and moving parts are bad for money, and even worse for live ammunition!

To what hotel does Charlie go after getting his Aston Martin?

An interesting sidenote about this scene: Michael Caine isn't driving when Croker arrives in his Aston. Caine couldn't drive at the time the car-centric "Italian Job" was made. This required a quick cutaway, so that the driver could get out and Caine in, and then Croker is seen exiting the car from the driver's-side door.

Beckerman's message to Charlie comes via what medium?

This is a low-key, charming moment in an otherwise high-adrenalin movie. Beckerman talks directly to Charlie on the black-and-white film, and Charlie, alone in his hotel room, answers - "Sure, Roger" - as though his friend can hear him.

Beckerman had an idea for a heist in which Italian city?

Turin is well-known as the home of Fiat automobiles. Fiats are often seen in "The Italian Job," although the film's makers insisted on British Mini Coopers having the "starring" role in the chase through the city.

How does Beckerman's widow greet Charlie?

There doesn't seem to be any reason for this: she arranged the meeting, and shortly afterward, gets into bed with him. The "gunpoint" greeting just seems to have been a way to create short-term narrative tension.

What is the key to the heist plan's success?

Beckerman's plan, taken over by Croker, is to hack the new computerized system and bring traffic to a standstill. Then, crack drivers in small, nimble cars will make their escape.

China's $4 million payment to Fiat is being delivered in what currency?

Bars of gold are excitingly visual on screen, but really, was this realistic? The times are modern enough that Turin has a computerized traffic system, but China couldn't deliver paper currency ... or better yet, wire the funds?

Gangland boss Mr. Bridger runs his empire from where?

Bridger is treated like a king in jail. He has a spacious room that doesn't resemble a cell, and he is shown deference by all the guards.

Noel Coward, who played Bridger, is best known for what other kind of work?

Coward is best known as a playwright. However, he could also sing, dance and act.

After Bridger refuses to be a part of Croker's heist plan, what does he do?

Three goons turn up at Croker's flat, telling him they're there "with Mr. Bridger's compliments." Charlie, no dummy, knows what that means.

Which character did comic Benny Hill play?

Professor Peach is needed to interfere with Turin's traffic computer. This computer relies on big reel-to-reel magnetic tapes, very like the ones in "The Imitation Game," which is why when Croker refers to jamming the "Turin computer," you can be forgiven for thinking he's saying, "Turing computer."

What colors are the three Mini Coopers?

It was the van which carried the other heist members that was patriotic in its design. A bold graffito outside announced "England for the Cup!" and inside, the guys were disguised as rabid football (soccer) fans.

Which of the following is NOT one of Charlie's crew?

The heist requires more than a dozen people. This might have been realistic in terms of the crime, but in the film, it meant a lot of actors getting very little screen time.

What is the song "Getta Bloomin' Move On" better known as?

While "The Italian Job" is a British film, "The Self-Preservation Society" is twangy, folksy and upbeat -- seemingly inspired by American movies with car chases between bootleggers and cops.

Professor Peach likes what kind of women?

Croker tempts him by having two rather hefty women sit on the back of his Aston Martin and wave up at Peach. Later, this proclivity gets Peach into trouble, when he's arrested for harassing a generously-built Italian woman.

How does Bridger arrange to see and talk to all the heist members?

Honestly, Bridger's special status in the prison is so ridiculously over-the-top that they might as well have had him tell the prison guards he was going out for a long drive. Who's allowed to say no to him?

How do the Mafia try to dissuade Charlie and his crew from staying in Italy?

As when they killed Beckerman, Mafia soldiers in sharp black suits line the pass, holding guns. The boss, Altabani, is down on the road, where he chats urbanely with Croker as the cars are smashed by the earthmover.

What does Charlie threaten Altabani with?

Croker warns that if harm falls to him, no Italian-run business will be safe. He says Mr. Bridger will "drive them (Italians) into the sea."

Who jammed the signal from Turin's traffic cameras?

Birkinshaw has wrapped the jamming devices in newspaper and puts them in trash cans near the cameras. We then see the command center, where screen after screen of traffic cameras goes black.

What is the last bit of advice Croker gives to his crew?

This advice isn't as useful as it sounds. The Minis drive almost exclusively in places cars aren't supposed to be: the arcade of a shopping plaza, the steps of a church and so on.

What does one of the Mini drivers steal from a diner at an outdoor cafe?

In a moment of caper-movie jauntiness, one of the lads sticks his hand out the window and snatches up what appears to be an entire miniature game hen. The three Mini Coopers are driving past an indoor-outdoor cafe at the time.

Which of the following is NOT something the Coopers drive through during the chase?

While everyone likes a car chase now and then, the one in "The Italian Job" seems determined to pack in every obstacle and feat imaginable. This, plus the foregone conclusion that the police are not going to catch them, makes it forgivable if the viewer's attention wanders at points.

What does Bridger do, upon hearing that the lads have completed the job?

It would have been almost impossible for Bridger to dance a jig. Noel Coward was in poor health, and his walk down the stairs, even, had to be shot in several takes.

What happens to the Minis at the end?

The three cars are first driven up a ramp into the long, empty motor coach. After the gold is unloaded, the Minis are shoved off one by one.

How does "The Italian Job" end?

This is a famous ending. The studio didn't like any of the four proposed endings, so created one that clearly set up a sequel (which never happened). It was the novelization that ended with Mr. Bridger telling the crew to return the gold, as part of a deal struck with the Mafia to "divide Europe."

Who played Croker's girlfriend, Lorna?

The character of Lorna pretty quickly turns into a stock girlfriend, but she starts out with a bang. She picks up Charlie in a stolen car (from an ambassador!) and dismisses the idea that she should have come to see Charlie in prison, with all the other "wives and their howling kids." Not her thing, Lorna makes clear.

Who did Paramount's chief want to play Charlie Croker?

Nowadays, this seems like blasphemy. Michael Caine fit the role to a T.

Who stepped into Charlie Croker's shoes for a 2003 remake?

The U.S. movie doesn't borrow the plot of the U.K. original whole. Instead, the storyline involves a first job, a double-cross, and then a second job, in which the betrayed members of the crew plan a "revenge" heist.

What upset Michael Caine about the U.S. release of the film?

The U.S. poster shows an apparently naked woman with a detailed map tattooed or painted on her back, kneeling in front of a mobster with a gun. Caine was reportedly so upset he cut short his promotional tour.

Who played Bridger in the American remake?

To say that he played "Bridger" is a bit of a misstatement. The character seems to be based mostly on Beckerman: he planned the first heist and is dead by the time the second revenge op takes place.

Michael Caine went on to play another London gangster in which film?

"Get Carter" is about a gangland tough investigating his brother's death. It came out in 1971.

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