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Italian Job ending solved...too late

TheItalianJob-Ending.jpgRemember that great ending for The Italian Job? The film starring Michael Caine as the man who leads a gold robbery in Italy escaping with the gold in various Mini's? Well someone has apparently solved how the ending could actually work and allow them to escape with the bullion.

However Michael Caine has already revealed that there was an ending filmed for the original and although it didn't quite solve the issue, it was very similar.

Before you read on, make sure you've seen the end of The Italian Job original already, otherwise this is going to be a big spoiler.

A competition was held by the Royal Society of Chemistry to find a way to solve the riddle posed at the end of The Italian Job, where their bus teeters on the edge of a cliff with the gold bullion teetering close to the doors as the bus rocks dangerously on the edge and the guys standing at the other end trying to balance it off.

According to the winner of the competition, through The Guardian, he's figured it all out.

“First, the coach would have to be stabilised by breaking the windows that overlooked the precipice. Then the fuel tank at the rear of the vehicle would have to be emptied by running the engine. And finally, a gang member would be allowed out of the coach in order to stabilise the front end with rocks.”

Okay, that's fine, although I have no real idea what breaking all the windows would do and how they could possibly break the ones at the back, nor do I know what effect the wind high up in the Italian mountains would have coming through the cab, all that aside, Michael Caine has already given us the answer.

Here's what Caine had to say about the original ending of the film, one that was filmed but never made it through the final edit, and aren't we all glad for that?

"In the coach, I crawl up, switch on the engine and stay there for four hours until all the petrol runs out...

...The van then bounces back up so the gang can all get out, but then the gold goes over the cliff...

...There are a load of Corsican Mafia at the bottom watching the whole thing through binoculars...

...They grab the gold, and then the sequel to the film was going to be us chasing after it."

So you see the answer was already filmed, it just never survived the editing process, and while that's good, it's also strangely similar to the winner of the competition – I wonder if the Royal Society of Chemistry realised that the answer was already there?




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Comments

If they break the windows, the glass falls and lessens the weight. I think.

That it? Well I guess it's something.

Still Caine revealed all well before this competition.

Or if you're a 911 conspiracy theorist, the bus was actually a hologram and the gold was melted by an orbital defense platform on the orders of our lizard overlords.

Actually no. I took another look at the movie in slowmo today and counted two pallets of gold bars, each carrying seven layers of some nine cages. Each cage seems to hold four bars, so there are just over 250 gold bars, which according to standards weigh 12.5 kg each. So the two pallets together weigh just over 3 tonnes.

There are 12 guys on the coach, and let's give them the benefit of the doubt as "heavies" at say 80 kg each - that's 960 kg, say a tonne for generosity's sake. Initially, the bus is shown as pretty evenly balanced with both pallets near the fulcrum and the men about a quarter of the bus length from the front. The men move right to the front, but as the bus rocks, first one pallet then the other slides to the rear (about twice the distance the men moved from the fulcrum). The endpoint result is about six times the original imbalance in favour of going over the cliff. So there would have been no problem to solve in any case. But the solution offered by the "winner" has a major flaw in failing to explain how the man who is lowered down to empty the fuel tank becomes self-levitating and does not contribute to the rearward mass beyond the fulcrum. Shame on the RSC for sloppy thinking.

Mike, thanks for that analysis, I must admit I didn't even think to go check it for myself.

I think the whole thing become academic when the original ending had the gold falling out of the bus anyway, and what's the more entertaining one?

nice

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