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“The Italian Job” Film by Felix Gary Gray Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2020


The movie “Italian Job” explores a heist plan by a group of people to steal gold from an Italian gang (Holden, 2003). The group comprises individuals with different skills and backgrounds. For instance, the group has an explosive expert and a computer wizard. The plan is to blow up the room where the safe is stored and land it in a boat waiting in the water canal beneath the apartment. With the help of ‘‘Napster’’, “Left Ear,” and Steve, two explosives are planted on the floor and ceiling of the room where the safe is stored (Holden, 2003).

The plan is executed so flawlessly that the individuals guarding the room with the safe do not suspect that the safe is gone at least for a few minutes. The explosives blow out the floor and land the safe on a boat waiting in a water canal below the apartment. The escape plan involves Rob acting as a decoy in order to allow other members to offload the gold bars from the safe into their motorboat. They escape successfully and drive to the Alps to celebrate. The members outline their individual plans for the loot except for Steve, who does not have a plan yet.

After leaving the mountains, they drive towards the Austrian border. Unfortunately, they are intercepted by armed individuals who take the gold. It emerges that the group was contracted by Steve, who had betrayed his friends. Steve shoots John when he tries to stop him from taking the gold (Holden, 2003). Steve and his contracted men drive away. After a year, Charlie and his group locate Steve and decide to steal the gold from him.

To accomplish this, they hire Stella, John’s daughter, who is a master at cracking safes, and who is determined to avenge her father’s death (Holden, 2003). Stella drives up to Steve’s residence, disguised as a technician. Their first attempt fails after discovering that Steve’s neighbor is holding a party. Stella goes on a date with Steve and reveals her identity through a slip of the tongue. Despite the small mishap, they finally steal the gold while on transit to Mexico.

Leaders and their styles

The leaders identified in the film are Charlie and Steve. Charlie is the overall leader of the group who tells the members of his group what to do and when to do it. The character of Charlie is defined by tenacity, intelligence, and focus (Holden, 2003). He seeks revenge for the death of his friend and mentor, John. He is also experienced because he started stealing as a child. Charlie’s leadership style is democratic. Each of the members in the group has a specialty, and Charlie allows them to do their work without questioning their competence.

He listens to them attentively and coordinates their activities. Democratic leadership is a leadership style that involves the active participation of every member in a group with regard to making decisions (Lussier & Achua, 2012). Charlie listens to each member attentively and allows them to execute their duties accordingly. Steve leads a small group of gangsters that steals the gold from Charlie and his friends. His style of leadership is authoritarian because he gives commands to his group and controls all their actions.

Character traits and their influence

Charlie’s leadership traits support his leadership style because of the difficult role he plays. For instance, he has to contend with one of the members betraying them. He does not give up and creates a plan to steal the gold from Steve. He exhibits charisma, courage, good communication skills, and open-mindedness. On the other hand, Steve is flexible and organized. These qualities enable him to steal the gold from his friends by contracting a group of individuals. The followers include Stella, Rob, John, Lyle, and Gilligan (Holden, 2003). They are followers because under the guidance of Charlie, who tells them what to do, introduces them to each other, and decides the actions to take at any given time.

For instance, before driving to Steve’s house posing as a technician, Charlie offers tips to Stella and encourages him not to let fear stop him from avenging his father’s death (Holden, 2003). The character traits of the followers that influenced the outcome include obedience, initiative, courage, and competency. The plan to steal the gold was successful because the followers had special skills that were unique to each one of them (Holden, 2003). In addition, they listen to their leader and follow the rules to the letter. They do not argue among themselves. In addition, they work together as a team, with their leader coordinating their activities.

Situational elements and maturity of followers

According to Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership theory, there are four levels of maturity, namely M1, M2, M3, and M4. The followers exhibit M4 level of maturity because they have the necessary experience to execute their roles and take responsibility for their actions (Daft, 2014). In addition, they take full responsibility for their tasks and do them well according to Charlie’s plan. Their maturity is expressed by the effective execution of tasks.

Situational elements that influence the leadership process include task structure, the relationship between the leader and the followers, and positioning power (Daft, 2014). The plan is flawless because it is well structured. The leader is able to make changes in different situations because of his flexibility. In the group, the relationship between the followers and their leader is good. However, Steve is not loyal because he betrays his partners and steals their gold. His actions force Charlie to alter the group’s plan in order to deal with the unexpected obstacle.


Daft, R. (2014). The Leadership Experience. New York: Cengage Learning.

Holden, S. (2003). The Italian Job Film Review: Once Again, It Takes a Thief to Catch a Thief. Web.

Lussier, R., & Achua, C. (2012). Leadership: Theory, Application, and Skill Development. New York: Cengage Learning.

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IvyPanda. 2020. ""The Italian Job" Film by Felix Gary Gray." June 19, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-italian-job-film-by-felix-gary-gray/.


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