VIDcast 03: The 40th Anniversary of The Italian Job film !From David Mortons Interview with Remy Julienne, for Mini Magazine 2009
(As part of the Official 40th Anniversary of the Iconic 1969 film)
THE CHURCH STEPS STUNT:
The chase sequence continues with the three Mini Coopers whizzing down the steps in front of the Gran di Dio Church in Turin and shouting their best wishes. This looks like an apparently straight forward stunt. However, as Remy explains it was a tricky stunt to both perform and set up. Remy was concerned about the angle of the steps and having to further complicate matters, these were negotiated at a steep angle. The Coopers had to be driven at a fairly quick pace to ensure they moved forward rather than potentially rolling over. This meant that the apparently casual movement of the wedding party and photographer were very carefully choreographed to ensure that were in exactly the right place as the Cooper whizzed by. The markers on the steps can be clearly seen if you slow your DVD down at this point in the chase, there’s a large ‘mark’ on the mid landing of the steps for the drivers to ‘aim’ at. Remy notes that the number of takes for this scene was limited as the Coopers suffered a considerable amount of damage to suspension and floor pans.
The three Coopers were initially parked behind black screens suspended off a scaffolding pole frames situated either side of the Church. Once the signal was given, the Coopers were driven through the ‘screening’ and down the steps in their iconic sequence of red, white and blue.