In Case It’s Been Bothering You

Hang on, lads, he's got a great ideaYou know the ending of “The Italian Job”? The original, not the remake.

It’s a literal cliff-hanger, with Michael Caine and his merry band of thieves literally balanced on the edge of disaster — their stolen gold bars in one end of a recreational vehicle, the gang on the other, as the RV teeters over the edge of a cliff.

If the thieves move toward the gold, the van will tip over the side. If they move toward safety, the gold will shift, and the van will tip over the side. If they do pretty much anything rash or stupid, the van will tip over the side. So the movie just leaves them — and us — hanging.

Well, England has had enough. Last week, the Royal Society of Chemistry challenged the nation to find a scientifically legitimate solution to the problem, based on the evidence provided by the film (and rejecting “the employment of a helicopter” as a possible fix).

But wait! In a recent BBC interview, Michael Caine says he’s had the answer all along, and even claims they’d shot it back in 1969:

The star says he would have saved them by “switching on the engine”, burning off petrol until it righted itself.

“I crawl up, switch on the engine and stay there for four hours until all the petrol runs out,” he said.

“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.”

I have my doubts about the practicality of this solution — it’s kind of anticlimactic after the intentional anti-climax of the cliff-hanger, which is presented with surprising grace when compared to the freneticism of the action that leads up to it. It very much feels like the movie’s supposed to stop there.

On the other hand, should that inevitable 40th anniversary DVD of “The Italian Job” should include the alternate ending, I will make with the shrugging and simply say that, you know, they were right to go with what they did.

One thought on “In Case It’s Been Bothering You”

  1. My dad gave me a Bushnell Binoculars and they are quite superb, excellent optics and very nice zoom. i could watch sexy babes from several hundred meters.;,*

Comments are closed.