Decades and times are often defined by cars and movies which form pop culture, bringing people together and create cult followings. When a little car was given it a shot at the silver screen, it became an icon and showed the world what a plucky brit could do. All it took was three Mini Coopers to capture the hearts and minds of people all around the world to turn this movie into a classic by blowing the bloody doors off.
The Italian Job movie was a box office hit and catapulted the British icon even further into the stars with arguably one of the best cliff hanger endings of all time. The movie drove more sales for the mini in the dealership, whilst the swinging 60s was in full effect! It cemented this car as a legend on and off the silver screen. This momentum carried when it the rally and touring car racing series as it won the Monte Carlo rally and touring car races against mustangs.
This four-wheel legend created a cult following with the silver screen debut with the now infamous driving scenes and stunts such as driving through the sewer tunnels with the gold bars in the boot. The movie set the standard for stunt car scenes given manoeuvrability of the Mini’s short wheelbase as it darted through a shopping mall, over rooftops and down staircases.
Later in 2003, there was a Hollywood remake which was more of cheap knock off and fell into the category somethings should be left alone. If you have only watched the 2003 version, you need to back the old school version as it still holds up today 50 years on.
2019 marks 50 years of the movie and 60 years of the MINI! When MINI UK emails you saying you have been invited to a special screening you assemble the crew for Mr Bridger and head to MINI Plant Oxford.
Rob and I headed to the MINI factory for the event which is a homecoming for your MINIs. Queue the obligatory pictures for the occasion…
We headed inside the MINI factory for the screening of the movie. We were greeted by a MINI Cooper S with Polizia livery of the Italy police cars in the film which was an Alfa Romeo Giulia TI.
Greeted by the MINI Events team we heading into Italian movie mood set with all original cars from the movies all line up in their trios.
The 3 MINIs in the movie all arranged next to the stage.
On the other side were the fast support cars used in the film – Aston Martin DB4 Convertible, Lamborghini Miura & Jaguar E-Type
All of those vehicles have been hard to find as many exchange hands over the years and many of lost or hidden away. It was first for a lot them being all together since the movie in 1969. The Miura had only just been certified by Lamborghini in being the actual one in the film as it disappeared shortly after the movie wrapped up…
There was an exciting mix of people there from motoring journalist, well know Mini/MINI owners, cast members of the family and various MINI UK faces. Two people caught my eye and the first was Amy Shore, who is a fantastic photographer, so lens and apertures talk was had. Along with this, we spoke about her Mini aka Mayo and the BIG Mini adventure from Athens, Greece to Bristol, UK for the International MINI Meet 2019.
The second person being some who you might know well from EVO Magazine & Carfection Youtube channel and he is Henry Catchpole. I have liked the way he writes and talks about the essence of driving pleasure in the driving roads imaginable while giving us all the technical and fun stuff you want to know. Thank for keeping the fire in me and wanting to push myself future with the blog & YouTube channel.
We took our popcorn and ice cream for the movie and settled down for the movie as the MINI team introduced did a small introduction about the movie, the car and what it means to the brand after all these years.
We had a special message from Sir Michael Caine before the movie started as unfortunately he wasn’t able to make it.
As we know, the rest is history as I sit back and enjoyed the movie all over again like it was the first time…
When the movie ended the light came back and we welcomed by some of the original cast of the movie on stage for Q&A along with Matthew Field who wrote a book on the movie with all the information you would want to know including interviews with the directors, staff, cast and family members.
There were so many funny stories and memories when the movie created, and when it wrapped up, which was blessing and insight that not many will ever know.
For example, Sir Michael Cane didn’t know how to drive a car, and he learnt on the set of the movie in a Mini, so it has a special place in his heart.
Another was after the movie wrapped up one of the stunt drives drove the Mini all the way home to the UK from Italy which landed him in jail. One thing he totally forgot to remember a few things – it wasn’t insured, no tax, gold bars in the boot, never registered and was on fake plates not to forget he was only pulled over because he was speeding…
I will let the videos do the talking and enjoy some snippets from the night courtesy of MINI UK bringing everyone together for this special 50th Anniversary of the Italian Job.
Special Thank You to MINI UK for the invite and hosting the event and Rob with the epic picture of the 3 Minis all together : )
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