Directed by Peter Collinson. UK. 1968.

Directed by F. Gary Gray. USA. 2003.

Talking Pictures alias







About Us



The original The Italian Job is a jaunty crime-caper crammed full of the very ingredients that made Britain the groovy centre of the Universe (ask Austin Powers). It had Michael Caine spouting the classic line "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors!", Mini Coopers driven like demented ants, and a sing-a-long classic We're The Self-Preservation Society. The story is about a cheeky bullion robbery in Italy (the style capital of the Universe) using Minis as getaway vehicles. The audacity of the crime has echoes of The Great Train Robbery, and the fact that the robbers hide amongst football supporters reminds us of Britain's recent victory in the World Cup (1966).

About the original Italian Job

  • The Drain the Mini Coopers race down is actually the Birmingham-Coventry Tithebarn Main Sewer, which was under construction at the time
  • The lettering on the side of the coach says ‘Croker Coach Tours’ (should read Crocker)
  • Michael Caine did not learn to drive until the mid-eighties
  • Approximately 16 Mini Coppers were used during filming
  • All of the Coopers used in the film were wrecked
  • The racetrack the Coopers end up on is at the top of the Fiat factory in Turin
  • The Turin Fiat Factory is a giant spiral production line with raw material entering at the bottom of the building and progressing to the track at the top where they are tested
  • For the infamous 3-Mini jump the cars had to travel at 50mph to make the jump.  All of the Fiat employees turned out as extras and said goodbye to the stuntman because they thought he was going to be killed
  • A missing scene was uncovered in 1998 showing the Coopers being chased onto an ice-rink.  The scene was cut because it reduced the tension of the chase.

Fans of the original will be pleased that the 'new' The Italian Job is not a remake of the classic original. Certainly, the new movie draws its inspiration from its legendary namesake, with the new Mini likely to steal the show just as it did back in 1968 in a series of action packed car chase scenes and jaw dropping stunts. This is a relief since there was talk of VW Beetles replacing the Mini in this new version. With the VW's elbowed out perhaps they can use them to star in 'new' versions of the popular Herbie movies? That sounds so far-out that I'm sure a movie mogal is already turning the idea over at some undisclosed pool-side location.

The Italian Job, 2003.
                    All Rights Reserved.Supporting the Mini Coopers in the 2003 film are Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Moss Def and Donald Sutherland. Surely there should have been a role for Minnie Driver - alright no more gags. Before the cast were allowed to get their hands on a Mini, the film's director F. Gary Gray insisted on sending his actors to a driving school so they could better understand how to work with new Mini. 

True to the Italian-based original, the opening scenes of the film are shot in Venice and the Italian Alps but then the film moves swiftly to LA where the Mini brought the city to a standstill - two blocks of Hollywood Boulevard were closed down in order to allow filming of what promises to be the most exhilarating and exciting car chase of the year. "We literally controlled those streets for a week, and that's a big deal" said producer Donald De Line. "We had 300 cars and several armoured trucks on the ground, helicopters flying low overhead, and motorcycles and Minis driving over the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Sidewalk." 

The Italian Job, 2003.
                    All Rights Reserved.Minis are used as getaway cars in L.A to carry stolen bars of gold. Weaving in and out of traffic, performing spectacular jumps and even driving down the Hollywood Boulevard subway entrance, the Minis survive a series of narrow escapes and prove themselves to be the real heroes of the film. 

Trevor Houghton-Berry, general manager Mini UK said "Making a new film called The Italian Job is bound to draw comparisons with the classic film. The new Italian Job is definitely inspired by the classic film, but in no way seeks to compete with a movie that is undoubtedly one of the great icons of British cinema. However one thing both films do have in common is a love of the Mini and what a Mini can do, both on and off the road. The car chase scenes are fantastic and it's worth going to see the film just for the Minis alone." 

Three Minis appear in the film one Chili Red Mini Cooper S, one Pepper White Mini Cooper and one Indi Blue Mini Cooper. BMW Group provided Paramount with 32 Minis for filming. 

The Italian Job will be released in the U.S.A at the end of May and will arrive in the UK in September. 

Nigel Watson

Search this site or the web        powered by FreeFind
Site searchWeb search

   Home | News | Features
    Book Reviews | About Us