The Italian Job meets cheap jugs and a student union gig in this early heist tale from Geoff Murphy (Goodbye Pork Pie, Utu). The plot follows some university students — short on exam fees and beer money — and their scheme to crack a campus safe. Murphy enlisted $4000 and a bevy of mates (including Bruno Lawrence in one of his earliest screen appearances) to make the film, over nine months of weekends. It screened on television on New Year’s Eve 1970; its assured pace and naturalist acting stood in stark contrast to the stage-influenced television dramas of the time.
We decided to analyse television's methods in detail, and then do the opposite ... Heroic poses were out. You didn't take a lot of care enunciating your words. English accents, hand gestures and facial expressions were not allowed.– Geoff Murphy on Tank Busters, in his 2015 autobiography A Life on Film, page 80
Acme Sausage Company
Available to buy at the Film Shop
Music by Underdogs, Acme Sausage Company and John Charles
Vocals by Malcolm McNeil