The Italian Job named the greatest British movie of all time

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
The Italian Job... voted the best British film of all time - Credit: Getty
The Italian Job… voted the best British film of all time – Credit: Getty

‘The Italian Job’ has been voted the greatest British movie ever made.

The 1969 caper, helmed by Peter Collinson and starring Sir Michael Caine, came top in a poll of 2000 film fans.

Thanks to all those Mini Coopers chasing through the streets of Turin and the climactic cliff-hanger, the movie beat competition from movies like ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Zulu’.

The movie also scored the honour of ‘Most Iconic Scene in a British Film’ too, for the moment when Caine’s charismatic crook Charlie Croker chastises his crew, uttering the immortal line ‘You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!’ after a disastrous explosives test.

And not only that, Caine was also named the Best British Actor of All Time in the polling too, with Sir Alfred Hitchcock named Best Director.

(Credit: Paramount)
(Credit: Paramount)

The poll was conducted by Vue Entertainment, to re-launch the Vue Leicester Square cinema.

Vue’s film content manager Dean Cross said: “’The Italian Job’ is a testament to the quality of British film-making – a moment when the best of the best came together to create cinema magic.

“There are bigger productions on the list, starring bigger stars, but Michael Caine’s gravitas as an actor, and the iconic scenes of The Italian Job put it ahead of the competition. A worthy winner.”

Anna Smith, President of the UK Critics’ Circle, added: “These results are a fascinating reflection of British culture over the decades, beginning with epic war film ‘Zulu’ in 1964, when real-life battles were still fresh in many audience members’ minds.

(Credit: Channel 4 Films)
(Credit: Channel 4 Films)

“Popular 70s and 80s cinema was arguably dominated by Hollywood, but British film is back with a bang in the 90s, with ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Trainspotting’.

“Both films helped define an exciting era in British culture, launching many talents onto the worldwide scene, including Trainspotting director Danny Boyle and actor Robert Carlyle, who can take special credit for appearing in both films.

“’Love Actually’ is a festive favourite with many, but as for me, I choose ‘Trainspotting’.”

Here are the top 50 best British films in full:

1. The Italian Job

2. The Full Monty

3. Zulu

4. Love, Actually

5. Trainspotting

6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

7. Four Weddings and a Funeral

8. The Bridge on the River Kwai

9. Monty Python’s Life of Brian

10. Billy Elliot

11. Lawrence of Arabia

12. The Railway Children

13. Shaun of the Dead

14. The 39 Steps

15. The King’s Speech

16. The Dam Busters

17. Slumdog Millionaire

18. Skyfall

19. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

20. A Clockwork Orange

21. 28 Days Later

22. Notting Hill

23. The Third Man

24. Hot Fuzz

25. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

26. Chariots of Fire

27. 2001: A Space Odyssey

28. This is England

29. The Ladykillers

30. The Wicker Man

31. Gandhi

32. Get Carter

33. Withnail & I

34. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

35. The Theory of Everything

36. Goldfinger

37. Local Hero

38. Kind Hearts and Coronets

39. Kes

40. Scum

41. Lawrence of Arabia

42. Bend it Like Beckham

43. Snatch

44. The Long Good Friday

45. Sense and Sensibility

46. Carry on Doctor

47. Carry on Camping

48. A Fish Called Wanda

49. Dr. No

50. A Hard Day’s Night

(Via SWNS)

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