It has been voted the greatest British film of all time and this month celebrates 50 years since its first screening. But for Troy Kennedy Martin – the man credited as the writer of The Italian Job – the comedy caper about a plot to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam was far from ‘bella’ and certainly nothing to be proud about.
And for the late screenwriter’s daughter, Sophie – born in the year the film opened – the great ambition is to see her father’s original, unadulterated script filmed by Quentin Tarantino, the cult director whose father is of Italian descent.
What would the real Italian Job be like given the writer’s vision?
“A heist film is not the same as a caper. One of the things dad said – I was going to put it on his gravestone – is with the whole rewrite process, if they change the idea of the film, then you should get out. I do wonder where did he learn that from – is it The Italian Job?
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“He was very dubious about some of the angles. He wasn’t sexist and he wasn’t racist or chauvinistic. My grandfather lived in Rome. My dad loved the Italians. He wouldn’t want something that sent up the Italians. He even lived in Rome himself for a while after he drove there in a sports car. I had a date with an Italian count and I mentioned The Italian Job and he fell off his chair in horror!”
She added: “My dad was a leftie, with all his mates. He was a card-carrying Labour voter until the Iraq War. He dropped me off at Greenham Common when I was 16. He’d be horrified by Brexit and the likes of Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg.”
Read more about Sophie’s quest to see The Italian Job as it was intended in this week’s Big Issue, available from your local vendor.
Image: AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo