Italian Job runs away with 'greatest' title

Sixties film classic The Italian Job has been voted the greatest British film of all time in a survey of film fans.

The original 1969 version of the film, in which a gang of criminals take to the streets of Turin in Minis to steal a van full of gold, took 15 per cent of the votes in the poll of 1,000 film fans, putting it ahead of Monty Python's Life of Brian (7 per cent) and The Full Monty (6 per cent).

Sir Anthony Hopkins was voted the greatest British actor with 12 per cent of the vote followed closely by Laurence Olivier (10 per cent) and The Italian Job's original lead Michael Caine (nine per cent).

York-born Dame Judi Dench was firm favourite as the greatest British actress and collected a quarter of the votes with her closest rival, Dame Helen Mirren, winning 14 per cent. Colin Firth, tipped to pick up an Oscar later this year for his performance in The King's Speech, and Keira Knightley won Best supporting actor and actress respectively.