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The Italian Job
Category Action , Crime/Spy , Oldies/Classics
Year: 1969
Time: 99 minutes
Production: Oakhurst Productions
Director: Peter Collinson
Cast:
Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill, John Le Mesurier
MPAA PG
Our Rating 9/10 - Still a good movie for something that's 40+yrs old
Watchability 9/10 - The mini getaway sequence is iconic
Contributed by Jordan Taylor
 
Plot:

Charlie Croker (Michael Caine) is fresh out of prison and enticed to take up a big job in Italy - $4million of Chinese gold bullion to be delivered under armed-guard.  With backing from the English-Godfather Mr Bridger, and three Mini Coopers, Charlie's team take to the streets of Turin for The Italian Job.

 
So, how does it end?

Benny Hill takes out the traffic cameras around the city with infra-red blocking devices, and the timer in the central office sticks causing chaos on the streets as the lights alternate randomly between red and green.

The team follow the security van using backstreets, and then pull out behind it.  Two large Fiat car-carriers block the street as the team get out of their minibus and take out the guards.  The tank escorting the van uses a water cannon, so they drop an explosive inside.  They hook up the security van and tow it away to a building nearby.

They drop explosives inside to blow the back doors off, and then load three Mini Coopers with the gold. The police are just outside, so they make an escape - each Mini carrying two men, and the rest get away in an England supporters minibus.

The minibus retreats through the backstreets, as the Minis take off pursued by the Italian police.

There's a huge chase scene through the Turin streets, over buildings, a hangar roof, a race track and through the sewers.  The police car perseveres (but it might be a different one for each chase sequence, it's not all that clear), until they exit the sewer tunnel and 2 England fans drop the gate.  The final police car crashes through - but it's quite clearly being driven by 2 mannequins, so that's probably the reason why they didn't see the huge iron gate.

The Minis meet up with the coach on an empty motorway, and then each drive up onto the back.  They also meet up with the minibus team.

News of the success reaches the prison, and Mr Bridger walks down the steps to dinner with England chants from all the other inmates.

Driving along the winding roads out the city, high into the mountains, they ditch the three Minis, but the boys get carried away and the driver takes a corner too wide.

The coach hangs on a ledge. The men back away from the gold (why didn't they just take a few pieces with them?!!) but as they approach to pull it back, the gold moves further away.

Charlie crawls towards the gold stash, but he cannot reach it. He turns to the others - "Hold on lads, I think I've got an idea".

 
Notes
So Michael Caine explained what Charlie's idea was at an awards ceremony recently -- apparently Charlie gets into the driver's seat and keeps his foot on the gas, until all the petrol has been used up. The men get off the coach, but the coach dips over the ledge at the last minute and falls. The Italian mafia have been watching the events all this time, and are quick on the scene to pick up the bullion from the bottom of the mountain. The sequel is all about the team chasing the Mafia to recapture the gold.
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