it all Began...
Italian Job was the brainchild of fashionable
60's small screen writer Troy Kennedy
Martin. After making a name for himself
at the BBC creating action packed programmes
like Z-Cars, Troy went freelance.
Michael Deeley jokes with
Michael Caine on location in Turin
looking for inspiration for screenplay
ideas Troy took a failed project that
his brother Ian (also a television writer
who went on to create The Sweeney which
Troy worked on it too) had half developed.
Ian's concept was a robbery set in London
in a traffic jam. Troy took the idea &
thought about re-working it so that it
was set in Turin as he was aware of it's
new computer controlled traffic centre.
Troy was also fond of Italy as his sister
worked in Rome and believed filming there
would suit the script. The brothers came
to an agreement that Troy would take over
the project and a treatment for a script
was soon written with the Mini already
his first choice of getaway car.
getting Michael Caine interested whilst
stranded at LAX airport, Troy visited
Turin and loved what he saw, malls and
squares that would be ideal for the nimble
British iconic Mini.
Italian Job was made on a handshake from
Charlie Bludhorn, then owner of Paramount
studios, who Caine met whilst promoting
Alfie, which was a Paramount picture.
Bludhorn introduced himself to Caine as
"The Man who just bought Paramount
- have you got any films you want to make?"
Paramount on board, they seeked out production
company Oakhurst, run by Michael Deeley
and Stanley Baker (Zulu). Baker wasn't
particularly interested in the project,
so Deeley & Paramount went looking
for a director. Deeley wanted Peter Yates
for his great work on Bullitt, but Charlie
Bludhorn at Paramount wanted Peter Collinson
and Bludhorn got his way.
Kennedy Martin began polishing the script
and after many re-workings it was finished.
The actual finished film was distinctly
different from his own slant on what the
film should have been. Troy wanted a hard
edged criminal underground type effect
with a minimum amount of wit.
began in Turin and the team found that
everyone wanted to help. Fiat were very
welcoming & even tried to persuade
the production team to use Fiats - offering
as many as they needed and even tabling
a hefty cash 'bonus' and a Ferrari. The
offer was turned down, as the Mini was
the star and it would have taken the 'British'
element out of the whole theme. With Fiat's
backing, Turin opened up - the whole place
was dominated by Fiat. This was in stark
contrast to BMC, the then makers of the
Mini. They simply were not interested
in helping out, and the best they could
do was sell the production team six Mini's
at trade price, the production team then
had to buy 30 more at regular retail prices!
Michael Caine on the cast list, director
Collinson persuaded his godfather Noel
Coward to take the role as Mr. Bridger.
With these two great names on the billing
it was a lot easier to find actors to
fill the various roles. With a colourful
cast and principle photography completed
the film was well under way, despite it's
there was enough in the pot to get L'Equipe
Remy Julienne on the job. Although having
only worked on a few films Remy Julienne
and his team of drivers and mechanics
were recognised as the best stunt drivers
around with a high level of professionalism
with the film industry. They were a self
contained unit who put an awful lot into
the production of the stunts. They would
try to accommodate any stunt, even making
suggestions and planning every move with
precision, a delicate touch and above