Smart Living

Five of Michael Caine’s coolest movie moments

The ‘60s style icon has just turned 85, so we couldn’t resist revisiting some of his sharpest cinematic moments

We had some sad news this morning with the passing of Stephen Hawking, so here’s something to balance the books. British actor, style icon and national treasure, Sir Michael Caine, turns 85 today.

Few figures in popular culture are more readily associated with understated 1960s verve, and love him or hate him, he’s made some damn stylish movies. Whether a shotgun toting gangster in Get Carter, chinless British Army officer in Zulu, or lovable rogue in Alfie, Caine’s work in the ‘60s and early ‘70s (and some of his later films, too) is synonymous with a bygone sense of quintessential British cool.

To celebrate his birthday and his movie legacy, here are five of Caine’s moments on-screen we love the most.

1. Shooting Tigers – The Italian Job

Have you ever shot a tiger with a machine gun? ‘Lord Croker’ has…

2. Thin glasses – Get Carter

Michael Caine’s guide to drinking beer: stroll in, stand at the bar, wear a badass trenchcoat, and use a thin glass.

3. Tuscan stand-off – The Italian Job

Could you keep your cool if a man did that to your motor? It’s a ‘grave error,’ apparently – and an exercise in old school British understatement, while he’s at it.

4. Maintaining order – Harry Brown

Perhaps Caine’s most popular film of recent years, his turn as a vigilante pensioner in Harry Brown has gone down as one of his finest performances – and it’s thanks in no small part to this one line…

5. Morning routine – The Ipcress File

Are The Ipcress File’s opening credits the coolest ever created? Quite possibly. If there’s one thing that’ll make you ashamed of your morning cup of instant, it’s this.