The Italian Job meets cheap jugs and a student union gig in this early heist tale from Geoff Murphy (Goodbye Pork Pie). 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 roles), and made it over nine months of weekends. It sold to local television (as well as the ABC in Australia). Its deliberately low key, naturalistic acting stood in stark contrast to the stage-influenced television dramas of the time.
It probably took us a year to make it, shooting in weekends and when we could borrow gear and borrow film stock, and borrow people's time...– Tank Busters cinematographer Alun Bollinger in documentary 50 Years of Television
Acme Sausage Company