The Italian Job (2003 film)

The Italian Job (2003 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Italian Job

caption = Teaser poster
director = F. Gary Gray
producer = Donald De Line
writer = Donna Powers
Wayne Powers
Based on the film written by Troy Kennedy Martin
starring = Mark Wahlberg
Charlize Theron
Edward Norton
Seth Green
Jason Statham
Mos Def
Donald Sutherland
music = John Powell
cinematography = Wally Pfister
editing = Richard Francis-Bruce
Christopher Rouse
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = Tribeca Film Festival: May 11, 2003 United States: May 30, 2003 Australia: August 21, 2003 United Kingdom: September 19, 2003
runtime = 110 minutes
country = United States
language = English
budget = $60,000,000cite web | url=| title=The Italian Job (2003) | publisher=Box Office Mojo | accessdate=2008-04-19 ]
gross = $176,070,171
website =
amg_id = 1:280180
imdb_id = 0317740

"The Italian Job" is a 2003 American heist film directed by F. Gary Gray. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Seth Green, Jason Statham, Mos Def and Donald Sutherland. Based on the 1969 British film of the same name, "The Italian Job" is about a team of thieves who plan to steal gold bullion from a former associate who double crossed them. Despite the shared title, the plot and characters of this film differ significantly from those of its source material; Gray described the film as "an homage to the original." [cite web |url= |title=Gray's Got Game |author=Spence D. |date=2003-05-30 |publisher=IGN Entertainment |accessdate=2008-10-10] Most of the film was shot on location in Venice, Italy and Los Angeles. Produced by Paramount Pictures, "The Italian Job" had a successful theatrical release in the summer of 2003, and grossed over $170 million worldwide. Critical response was generally positive. A sequel has reportedly been in development since 2004, but has yet to be produced as of 2008.


In Venice, Italy, retired safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland) calls his daughter Stella (Charlize Theron) and tells her that he is participating in what will be his final heist. John then meets up with Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) before setting the heist into motion. Their team consists of themselves and four others: Steve (Edward Norton) is the "inside man", Handsome Rob (Jason Statham) is a getaway driver, Left Ear (Mos Def) is an explosives expert, and Lyle, who later demands the handle "Napster" (Seth Green), is a technical expert. The heist is a success, but Steve betrays them all by taking the gold for himself; he also kills Bridger and leaves the rest of the team for dead.

A year later back in the United States, Stella is using her safecracking expertise to break into vaults as an assistant to law enforcement personnel. The team has tracked Steve down, and Charlie recruits Stella to participate with the team in stealing the gold from Steve since she has the required skill and motivation. The team travel to Los Angeles, California, surveil Steve's house, and begin planning their heist. Meanwhile, Steve attempts to sell his gold through a money launderer, but kills him when the launderer begins asking questions about the source of the gold. However, the money launderer was a cousin of a local Ukranian gangster, who subsequently seeks vengeance for his cousin's murder.

The team's initial plan was to have Steve stood up on a date with Stella—who posed as a cable repair woman to get into Steve's house and locate his safe—while the team would break into Steve's house, load the gold into three Mini Coopers modified by Rob's mechanic friend Wrench (Franky G), and use hacked traffic lights to make their escape. However, Charlie is forced to call it off because of a local party, which would witness the heist's execution. To maintain her cover, Stella goes on the date with Steve, but he figures out her real identity. Charlie then confronts Steve and promises that he will take back the stolen gold.

Now aware that Charlie and his team are alive, Steve hastily makes preparations to move the gold. He obtains three armored trucks and a helicopter from which to monitor the trucks' transit. To counter the shell game, Charlie uses his control over the Los Angeles traffic system to isolate the one truck containing the gold, which Lyle manages to find, and gridlocks the entire city. The team then steals the gold from the truck and escape in their trio of Mini Coopers. Steve and his hired security guards pursue them through Los Angeles, and the team manages to lose them all, except Steve. He follows Charlie, but falls into a tr


Screenwriting team Donna and Wayne Powers had not seen the original 1969 film prior to their commission to write a remake. The duo viewed the film only once "because [they] wanted to get a sense of what it was about" in regards to its tone, and over the course of two years they developed a screenplay which was described by director F. Gary Gray as "inspired by the original." [cite video |people=Powers, Donna (writer) et al |year2=2003 |title=Putting the Words on the Page for The Italian Job |medium=Documentary |publisher=Paramount Pictures] Gray, Powers and Powers, and executive producer James Dyer identified the most prominent similarities as the trio of Mini Coopers used by the thieves, as well as the titular heist involving the theft of gold bullion. [cite web |url= |title=Gray Talks "Italian Job" |author=Stax |date=2003-03-17 |publisher=IGN Entertainment |accessdate=2008-09-15] Some sequences of the film were storyboarded and previsualized by Gray before production began.cite web |url= |title=How Wally Pfister, ASC Gave The Italian Job a Contemporary Look |author=Fisher, Bob |date=May 2003 |publisher=International Cinematographers Guild |accessdate=2008-10-07]

Most of "The Italian Job" was shot on location, at sites scouted by cinematographer Wally Pfister over 12 weeks during pre-production, but some scenes were filmed on sets. The Venice building where the film's titular, opening heist sequence takes place, the van from which the thieves surveil Frazelli's mansion, a hotel room, and the Metrolink subway tunnel were sets constructed at Downey Studios in California. For the scene in which an armored truck falls through Hollywood Boulevard and into the subway tunnel below, Pfister set up seven cameras to capture the vehicle's ~ convert|30|foot|m descent. Three hundred cars were used to simulate the traffic jam at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland, which was controlled by the production crew for a week. Three of the 32 Mini Coopers used during principal photography were fitted with electric motors since combustion engines were not allowed in the subway tunnels where some scenes were shot. Other Mini Coopers were modified to allow for camera placement on and inside the vehicles.cite video |people= |year2=2003 |title=High Octane: Stunts from The Italian Job |medium=Documentary |publisher=Paramount Pictures] cite video| people= |year2=2003 |title=The Italian Job – Driving School |medium=Documentary |publisher=Paramount Pictures]

Gray wanted the film to be as realistic as possible; accordingly, the actors did most of their own stunts, and computer-generated imagery was used very sparingly.cite video |people=Gray, F. Gary (director) et al |year2=2003 |title=Pedal to the Metal: The Making of The Italian Job |medium=Documentary |publisher=Paramount Pictures] cite news |url=,,456902,00.html |title=Keepin' It Wheel |last=Daly |first=Steve |date=2003-06-05 |work=Entertainment Weekly |accessdate=2008-09-13] Filming on location posed some challenges. The opening heist sequence in Venice, Italy, was strictly monitored by the local authorities due to the high speeds the boats were driven at. The frigid temperatures of the Italian Alps created problems during production: "The guns would jam, and if you could imagine not being able to walk 40 feet with a bottle of water without it freezing, those are the conditions we had to work in," Gray remarked. Also, pedestrians had to be allowed to use the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard between takes.


Gray had been interested in working with Wahlberg since seeing his performance in "Boogie Nights" (1997). After reading the script for "The Italian Job", Gray contacted Wahlberg, who "fell in love with it" after reading it himself.cite video |people=Gray, F. Gary (director) et al |year2=2003 |title=Pedal to the Metal: The Making of The Italian Job |medium=Documentary |publisher=Paramount Pictures] Green was also attracted to the project because of the script. [cite web |url= |title=Seth Green |last=Applebaum |first=Stephen |date=2003-09-15 |publisher=BBC |accessdate=2008-09-15] Theron was Gray's first choice for the character of Stella Bridger, and Wahlberg also recommended her for the role. She spent time with a safecracker in preparing for the role. [cite web |url= |title=Charlize Theron |last=Lee |first=Alana |date=2003-09-15 |publisher=BBC |accessdate=2008-09-16] Gray's casting director suggested Statham for the role of getaway driver Handsome Rob, and Gray agreed with her choice. Norton took the role of Steve Frazelli due to a contractual obligation he had to fulfill. Wahlberg, Theron and Statham attended a special driving school for nearly a month during pre-production.


Infobox movie certificates
Argentina = 13
Australia = M
Brazil = 12
Canada = 14A
Denmark = 11
Finland = K-11
Germany = 12
Hong_Kong = IIB
Iceland = 10
Malaysia = 18PL
Netherlands = 12
New_Zealand = M
Norway = 11
Peru = 14
Philippines = R-18
Singapore = PG
Spain = 7
South_Korea = 15
Sweden = 11
United_States = PG-13
United_Kingdom = 12A

Theatrical run and home media

"The Italian Job" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on May 11, 2003, and was theatrically released in the United States on May 30, 2003. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $19,457,944, placing third in the box office.cite web | url= | title=Box office and rental history for The Italian Job | publisher=Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate=2008-04-19 ] Paramount re-released the film on August 29, [cite news |url= |title=Par decides 'Job' will work Labor Day |last=McNary |first=Dave |date=2003-08-14 |work=Variety |publisher=Reed Business Information |accessdate=2008-09-18] and by the time its theatrical release closed in November 2003, the film had grossed $106,128,601 in the United States and Canada and $69,941,570 overseas—$176,070,171 worldwide. It was the highest-grossing film produced by Paramount in 2003. [cite news|url=|title=De Line hire portends more changes at Par|last=McNary|first=Dave|date=2003-12-21|work=Variety|publisher=Reed Business Information|accessdate=2008-10-05] "The Italian Job" was released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment October 7, 2003, and includes five bonus features on different aspects of the film's production, in addition to six deleted scenes. [cite web |url= |title=The Italian Job (2003) Review |last=Patrizio |first=Andy |date=2003-10-17 |publisher=IGN Entertainment |accessdate=2008-09-15] It was released on Blu-ray disc October 24, 2006, [cite web |url= |title=Historical Blu-ray Release Dates | |accessdate=2008-09-19] and on HD DVD August 8, 2006. [cite web |url= |title=Historical HD DVD Release Dates | |accessdate=2008-09-19]

Critical reception

Based on 174 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, "The Italian Job" has an overall approval rating of 73 percent, with a weighted average score of 6.4/10. Among Rotten Tomatoes' "Cream of the Crop", which consists of popular and notable critics from top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 82 percent, with a weighted average score of 6.8/10.cite web | url= | title=The Italian Job (2003) | publisher=Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate=2008-09-13 ] By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 68 out of 100 from the 37 reviews it collected. [cite web | url= | title=Italian Job, The | publisher=Metacritic | accessdate=2008-09-13 ]

BBC reviewer Stella Papamichael gave "The Italian Job" 4 stars out of 5, and wrote that the "revenge plot adds wallop lacking in the original". [cite web |url= |title=The Italian Job |last=Papamichael |first=Stella |date=2003-10-04 |publisher=BBC |accessdate=2008-09-15] Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4, writing that the film was "two hours of mindless escapism on a relatively skilled professional level." [cite web |url= |title=The Italian Job |last=Ebert |first=Roger |date=2003-05-30 | |accessdate=2008-09-13] Mick LaSalle of the "San Francisco Chronicle" concurred, describing "The Italian Job" as pure but smart entertainment "plotted and executed with invention and humor". [cite news |url= |title=Rip-off artistry |last=LaSalle |first=Mick |date=2003-05-30 |work=San Francisco Chronicle |publisher=Hearst Communications, Inc |accessdate=2008-09-13] Reviewer James Berardinelli also gave the film 3 stars out of 4, and said that Gray had discovered the right recipe to do a heist movie: "keep things moving, develop a nice rapport between the leads, toss in the occasional surprise, and top with a sprinkling of panache." [cite web |url= |title=Review: Italian Job, The (2003)|author=Berardinelli, James |date=2003-05-27 | |accessdate=2008-10-09] "Variety"'s Robert Koehler wrote that the film "balances genre basics with refreshing angles on the set-up and execution of the caper at hand... punctuated with an unexpected sense of humor." [cite web |url= |title=The Italian Job |last=Koehler |first=Robert |date=2003-05-26 |work=Variety |publisher=Reed Business Information |accessdate=2008-09-13] Owen Gleiberman of "Entertainment Weekly" gave the film a B− grade, comparing it to films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer which include "epic fireballs, car chases edited into edgy demolition joyrides, and a demon squad of cutely delineated cool-jerk crooks who deadpan their way through a caper as weightless as it is far-fetched". [cite web |url=,,454095~1~~italianjob,00.html |title=The Italian Job (2003) |last=Glieberman |first=Owen |date=2003-05-30 |work=Entertainment Weekly |accessdate=2008-09-13] Mike Clark of "USA Today" questioned the probability of the Los Angeles heist sequence and wrote that the film was "a lazy and in-name-only remake", giving it 2 stars out of 4. [cite web |url= |title=Give this American 'Italian Job' the boot |author=Clark, Mike |date=2003-05-29 |work=USA TODAY |accessdate=2008-10-09] Peter Travers, writing for "Rolling Stone", gave "The Italian Job" 1 star out of 4, describing the film as "a tricked-out remake of a heist flick that was already flat and formulaic in 1969."cite web |url= |title=The Italian Job |last=Travers |first=Peter |date=2003-05-30 |work=Rolling Stone |accessdate=2008-09-13]


Director F. Gary Gray won a Film Life Movie Award for Best Director at the 2004 American Black Film Festival. [cite press release |url= |title=Star-Studded Film Life Movie Awards Show Concludes 8th Annual American Black Film Festival |publisher=Film Life, Inc |date=2004-07-20 |accessdate=2008-09-13] Clay Cullen, Michael Gaines, Jean Paul Ruggiero and Mike Massa won an award for Best Specialty Stunt at the 2004 Taurus World Stunt Awards for the boat chase through the canals of Venice. [cite web |title=Nominees / Winners 2004 - Taurus World Stunt Awards |url= |publisher=Taurus World Stunt Awards |accessdate=2008-09-13 See also: cite press release |title=Blow Up With Excitement-Literally! |publisher=Taurus World Stunt Awards |date=2004-05-16 |accessdate=2008-09-13 |url=]


A sequel to "The Italian Job", tentatively titled "The Brazilian Job", was in development by the summer of 2004, but has faced multiple delays. Principal photography was initially slated to begin in March 2005, with a projected release date in November or December 2005. [cite news |url= |title=Sequel to "The Italian Job" Proposed |author=Davidson, Paul |date=2003-07-23 |publisher=IGN Entertainment |accessdate=2008-10-08 cite news |url= |title=New man for the 'Job' |author=Fleming, Michael and McNary, Dave |work=Variety |publisher=Reed Business Information |accessdate=2008-09-17 cite news |url= |title=Par reunites 'Job' crew |last=McNary |first=Dave |date=2004-09-26 |work=Variety |publisher=Reed Business Information |accessdate=2008-09-17 cite news |url= |title='Huckabees' stars are all 'Heart' |author=Keck, William |date=2004-09-23 |work=USA TODAY |accessdate=2008-10-10 See also: cite news |url= |title=New Italian Job Looks Likely |last=Davidson |first=Paul |date=2004-09-27 |publisher=IGN Entertainment |accessdate=2008-09-17] However, the script was never finalized, and the release date was pushed back to sometime in 2006, [cite news |url= |title=Par: Déjà vu all over again |author=McNary, Dave |date=2004-11-07 |work=Variety |publisher=Reed Business Information |accessdate=2008-10-05] and later summer 2007.cite web |url= |title="The Brazilian Job" Targets Summer 2007 |accessdate=2008-06-17 |author=Davidson, Paul |date=2005-12-16 |publisher=IGN Entertainment cite web |url= |title="Brazilian Job" Still On |accessdate=2008-06-17 |author=Davidson, Paul |date=2007-05-02 |publisher=IGN Entertainment] Writer David Twohy approached Paramount Pictures with an original screenplay entitled "The Wrecking Crew", and though the studio reportedly liked the idea, they thought it would work better as a sequel to "The Italian Job".cite news |url= |title=Par puts vet on the 'Job' |author=Fleming, Michael |date=2005-05-31 |work=Variety|publisher=Reed Business Information |accessdate=2008-09-11] Director F. Gary Gray was expected to return, as well as most, if not all, of the original cast. At least two drafts of the script had been composed by August 2007, but the project had not been greenlit. [cite web |url= |title=Exclusive Interview: Seth Green |last=Goldman |first=Eric |date=2007-08-17 |publisher=IGN Entertainment |accessdate=2008-09-15] In a March 2008 interview, Jason Statham said that "somebody should just erase it from IMDb.... and put it back on there when it's fully due and ready. [...] It's one of those things that's just sitting around." [cite web |url= |title=Statham Talks Sequels |accessdate=2008-06-17 |author=IGN Staff |date=2008-03-04 |publisher=IGN Entertainment] Green also stated, in September 2008, that the sequel is unlikely in the near future.


External links

* [ Official website "The Italian Job"]
*amg movie|id=1:280180|title=The Italian Job
*mojo title|id=italianjob|title=The Italian Job
*imdb title|id=0317740|title=The Italian Job
*metacritic film|id=italianjob|title=The Italian Job
*rotten-tomatoes|id=italian_job|title=The Italian Job

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