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In 'The Italian Job' (1969), upon leaving jail, petty criminal Charlie Croker (Caine) inherits a carefully planned $4 million gold robbery in Italy. With the original mastermind of the plan murdered, Croker needs financial backing and finds it in Mr Bridger (Noel Coward, in his last screen role), a quintessential English crime boss still incarcerated by Her Majesty's Prison Service. Bridger supplies Charlie with his own gang of bank robbers, getaway drivers and computer whizz-kids, and helps him plan the heist.
'Zulu' (1963) is the epic story of the battle of Rorke's Drift, on January 22nd 1879, where 1,200 British troops found themselves completely outnumbered by irate Zulu warriors in Natal, South Africa. Having already destroyed a large British garrison, 4,000 Zulu warriors are now on their way to overcome the handful of men stationed at Rorke's Drift. The two lieutenants in charge of the garrison, Jon Chard (Stanley Baker) and Gonville Bromhead (Caine), are at odds with each other, but manage to rally the men together and put up a courageous fight.
'Alfie' (1966) sees Caine as a streetwise womaniser in swinging 1960s London. His conquests are numerous, from common-law wife Gilda (Julia Foster) to frustrated housewife Lily (Vivien Merchant), but the chirpy cockney's antics threaten to catch up with him. The film is now seen as a period piece of 1960s British Cinema, detailing the consequences of the sexual revolution that began in that era.