You know the 1969 classic film The Italian Job... Or do you? Only real enthusiasts know of the missing 'Blue Danube' scene...
The Italian Job* is one of the greatest films of all time. Full-stop, rule-off, no debate. The cult classic sees lighthearted criminal Charlie Croker and his band of misfits attempt to steal $4 million in gold bullion. Employing three Mini Coopers as getaway vehicles, the gang makes their escape via a route involving daring stunts that were all executed in real life. But what about the Italian Job’s missing scene?
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Many of you will be thinking 'I’ve seen that film a million times, what missing scene?' but I assure you there is a noteworthy chunk missing. Italian Job geeks know it as the 'Blue Danube' sequence, named after the famous piece of classical music that plays throughout.
Originally set to take place shortly after the beginning of the 'lads' escape, this chapter sees the three hero cars enter an Italian ice rink. Cue a live orchestra and three Alfa Romeo Giulia police cars for some synchronised ice dancing. It is a brilliantly choreographed piece of driving from all involved as the cars skate by each other with inches to spare at times. Ingenious, cheeky, and just plain amusing, so why did it get cut from the completed film?
According to the film’s producers it simply slowed the pace of the chase too much. After emerging from the ice rink the Minis would cross the weir and then enter the sewer tunnel, both action-packed segments, so we can sort of see why the automotive equivalent of Dancing on Ice was cut. However, it is such a great sequence that maybe it should have earned a place elsewhere in the narrative.
Thankfully the footage survived the cutting room floor and is it well worth a watch to see what could have been.