Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Movie: The Italian Job - The Ending

(First posted 30.11.2008)
Welcome, a treat in store with this item... an explanation for the ending of the movie The Italian Job.
For those pissants among the readership who are too young to remember this movie classic, let me offer some background…
The Movie:
The Italian Job (the original, not the 2003 remake) was made in 1969 and stars Michael Caine. Caine plays Charlie Croker, who has just been released from prison and who plans a big job: the theft of $4m in gold arriving in Italy from China. To achieve this feat Charlie enlists the aid of a computer geek to create a giant traffic jam and recruits a team of safe crackers and drivers, all the while working under the noses of the Mafia.

Movie Trailer:
The movie trailer may be viewed at: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=RxglfIDnoo8
Movie Highlights and Trivia:

  • The memorable getaway in the three Mini Cooper S vehicles, with a chase through Italian streets, buildings, rivers, sewers, highways and rooftops which lasts for several minutes.

  • Bennie Hill playing the computer geek.

  • Noel Coward playing Mr Bridger, the Mr Big who funds the operation.

  • The line spoken by Charlie when in practice the whole bullion van is blown up, “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off””, was voted the most memorable line in any film in a 2003 UK survey. You can see the line in the youtube trailer cited above.

  • The Italian mafia actually shut down sections of Turin to assist in filming, thereby actually creating massive traffic jams whilst the crew filmed the traffic jam scenes.

  • During the chase scenes, the Minis always stay in the order red, white and blue, the colours of the British flag.

  • BMC (British Motor Corporation) declined to give any Minis for use in the movie but Fiat, seeing the potential for product placement, offered and gave not only cars, it allowed its sites to be used for filming free of charge. The producers decided to stay with Minis rather than Fiats because of the desire to use British cars.

The Ending:
Movie buffs will recall that at the end of the movie the crims, Charlie and the gold are all in the bus making their getaway on a winding road through the mountains to Switzerland. A mistake by the driver causes the bus to skid, the bus coming to a stop with the back teetering over a cliff. The gold slips towards the back and Charlie tries to reach it, it slips further. The bus is now delicately balanced and Charlie tells everyone not to move. As the credits begin with the movie literally left on a cliffhanger, the audience hears Charlie say “Hang on a minute, lads, I’ve got a great idea.”
Apparently the cast and crew hated the ending at the time, not realising what a memorable and cult ending it would become in later years. The director hated the ending so much that he made his assistant film it.
The Ending Revealed:
From the Daily Mail 28.11.2008 at
Speaking at last night's 2008 Visit London Awards, he told how the film's producers had already devised the ending but chose not to use it
In the coach I crawl up, switch on the engine, 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.
Sir Michael was at the Royal Albert Hall ceremony after being voted London's favourite Londoner. He beat Joanna Lumley, Sir Alan Sugar, Paul Merton, Jamie Oliver and singer Leona Lewis to win the award.
IMDB states that a sequel was intended to be called The Brazilian Job but it was never made because of poor results for the movie in the US

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