The Italian Job - MINI COOPER S

The Italian Job was released in 1969 and featured a trio of seemingly unlikely stars.

The Italian Job (the greatest film of all time) was released in 1969 and featured a trio of seemingly unlikely stars. HMP 729G, GPF 146G and LGW 809G, the registration numbers of the three Mini Cooper S getaway cars used to steal 4 million dollars in gold. The films became a box-office hit in the UK thanks to its epic car chase that takes in the crowded streets of Turin, the Fiat building's roof, a weir, an underground tunnel and finally driving into a moving 1964 Bedford VAL. Sadly, the Minis used in the chase scenes were all destroyed in accidents while filming the sewer sequence.

As a result of the film, Minis have become synonymous with British sixties cool rather than as just small family runabouts. They could be sporty and robust if you wanted them to be, they could even jump from rooftop to rooftop.

Many people were left disappointed by the literal cliff-hangar ending of The Italian Job but there was actually a planned sequel that would pick up from the bus perilously hanging over the edge of a cliff. As Sir Michael Caine himself says "In the coach, I crawl up, switch on the engine and stay there for four hours until all the petrol runs out. The van bounces back up so we can all get out, but then the gold goes over. There are a load of Corsican Mafia at the bottom watching the whole thing with binoculars. They grab the gold, and then the sequel is us chasing it."

Unfortunately the film flopped in the US and so they never bothered to make the sequel. I'd be willing to put £5 in the pot if anyone wants to remake it - I wonder if Michael would be up for it.

'You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!’

Michael Caine (as Charlie Croker)

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Comments (2)

  • Apparently, according to Caine's biography, the company who made the mini's refused a "sponsorship" deal during the making of the film and they actually had to buy (and be very careful with) the few they had. Also from the biography, the drive on top of the fiat factory was a happy accident due the language barrier while filming in Italy.

      4 years ago
  • I'm still laughing at those Michael Caines lines.

      4 years ago