Although the screen writer Troy Kennedy Martin already has Turin in mind when working on the script, apparently the location had been changed in the re-working of it to Rome. The production team considered Rome, then Milan, before realising that Turin would in fact be the best location due to a combination of the costs involved in setting up filming and stopping traffic in the cities of Rome and Milan and the many piazzas, malls, gallerias and other interesting locations so common in Turin. Turin was also a location that hadn't been used in past films, so Turin was untouched in film terms and hadn't experience the chaos that a film crew could cause.

Lord Croker on his way to collect
his Aston Martin DB4

The production office was set up in central Turin and much of the crew's equipment was transported in the back of the coach to be used at the end of the film!

The scene where Croker collects his Aston Martin DB4 after being released from prison was shot in a massive underground car park in Park Lane, London.

Most of Noel Coward's scenes were shot a disused prison called Kilmainham, located just outside Dublin, Ireland. It closed in 1924 and is now a museum dedicated to the Irish struggle for independence. It has been used several times since for films, notably in 'In the Name of the Father' in 1993. The funeral scene was also shot just outside Dublin and turned out to be full of glitches. The low lying fog was created using smoke pots borrowed from another studio, but the wind kept blowing the smoke away, then one of the old smoke pots exploded in one of the crews hand. The crew member, Antal Kovacs muttered that it was just a burn as he was whisked off for treatment, but when he was out of ear-shot Noel Coward quipped "That's what Joan of Arc said."!!
There were six black horses supplied for the scene, but they started becoming grey and brown as drizzle set in. It turned out that the Irish horse dealers couldn't find six black horses in time and painted them black!!

Charlie & Lorna in their London flat

The Notting Hill flat now

Much of The Italian Job was filmed in and around London. Croker and Lorna's flat was shot in Notting Hill. The flat actually belonged to a friend of the scriptwriter. This location was also used for when Croker gets his grappling tool from under his bed, which he calls 'Hazel'. This was in reference to director Peter Collinson's wife, Hazel. Peter likes to get the name wife in all the films he makes!

The dentist scene in Hartley street was actually shot in Twickenham.

The scene where Charlie Croker is explaining the 'job' to his crew, in a tall building was shot in a penthouse in Vauxhall, London. The building is/was one of the tallest buildings in London and the penthouse was the Oakhurst Production (Michael Deeley/Stanley Baker) office. The penthouse was eventually sold and was bought by Jeffery Archer.

You're only supposed to...

...blow the bloody doors off!!

Crystal Palace Park (not Sydenham Common - a common mistake) in South London was the location for one of the most memorable scenes in the film where Caine delivers the line "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!!". Interestingly the actual line that Caine was meant to say was "I only want you to blow the doors off", but I guess that's Caine's magic shining through!
The effects crew didn't know how much explosive to use and the resulting explosion was far greater than anyone expected. As windows across the common shattered, many of the crew jumped into cars to make a getaway before the Police rolled up asking questions!

The DER building in Twickenham, London, with it's unusual triangular shape, was used for the traffic control centre in Turin. When they were filming one night they had to turn off the power for the script, but what they didn't know is that local companies rented their computer in the evenings and all their systems went down!

The entrance and exits to the sewer sequence were in Turin, but the actual 'in tunnel' footage was shot in the Birmingham-Coventry Tithebarn main sewer located in Stoke Aldermoor in Coventry, which was under construction at the time. Remy Julienne attempted to do a full 360 of the tunnel. The first time the car fell off, although it didn't kill the driver as is often reported. The second time it skidded on algae. The third time the car hit a lip at the top of the tunnel which wrecked the suspension. The Coopers then had to negotiate the weir on Turin's River Po.

In the final scene the Herrington coach was left dangling over a cliff at Cherosoli in the Alpsbut the 'in coach' shots were filmed back at Twickenham Studios.

Back to Top

Director Peter Collinson, Noel Coward and
life long friend and partner Graham Payn

Coward and Caine at the funeral scene
located just
outside Dublin, Ireland

Crystal Palace Park, where the doors were well
and truly blown off!!

Retrieving the Coopers from the sewer in Stoke
Aldermoor, Coventry

Hang on a minute lads... I've got a great
idea.. err...

© Copyright 2005 The Italian