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January 23, 2009 12:11 PM   Subscribe

The Italian Job: Problem Solved
posted by Artw (43 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Apparently if they had made a sequel the solution would actually have been mafia helicopters. Probably for the best...
posted by Artw at 12:15 PM on January 23, 2009


Where's Marky Mark?
posted by inigo2 at 12:16 PM on January 23, 2009


Michael Caine's been saying for years that the solution was to run the engine until the gas burned off. So the guy won by using that solution and adding vandalism and masonry.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:17 PM on January 23, 2009


I appreciate that they wrote a whole article without mentioning the remake. (Those Napster references sure were fresh back then.)
posted by smackfu at 12:18 PM on January 23, 2009


What remake?
posted by Artw at 12:19 PM on January 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Michael Caine's been saying for years that the solution was to run the engine until the gas burned off. So the guy won by using that solution and adding vandalism and masonry.

As the article notes, though, Caine's solution doesn't save the gold, while this guy's does.
posted by inigo2 at 12:20 PM on January 23, 2009


Obligatory.
posted by Abiezer at 12:27 PM on January 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


You know who else had a final solution?
posted by Poolio at 12:29 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, why does the RSC get to do all the cool stuff? Solving the Italian Job, making the perfect Yorkshire pudding (previously) ... what has the American Chemical Society ever done?? (grumbles this American chem student)
posted by Xere at 12:29 PM on January 23, 2009


Terrible article. Godwin in the first sentence.
posted by JohnFredra at 12:29 PM on January 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


As the article notes, though, Caine's solution doesn't save the gold, while this guy's does.

And, as a commenter noted, what the hell are you gonna do with the gold once you're stranded in a vehicle with no gas, and with the authorities on your tail?
posted by billysumday at 12:31 PM on January 23, 2009


Throw it off the cliff!
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I feel like everyone's missing the point of Michael Caine's suggestion. Once the gas has burnt off and the people can exit the bus, the bus goes off the cliff, but without the flaming wreckage that would be involved normally in, you know, picking it up at the bottom of the cliff.

How I read it, anyway.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:39 PM on January 23, 2009


Caine, Coward and Benny Hill, makes you proud to British so it does... I think it's time to get a copy so I can watch it every single Bank Holiday.

Remake? Not in my universe. Next you'll be saying they remade Get Carter or The Wicker Man...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:46 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or a version of Alfie stripped of the social despair.
posted by Artw at 12:51 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


So the guy won by using that solution and adding vandalism and masonry.

Mayor Curley's somewhat accusatory phrasing of it this way reminds me why I decided not to be a math major any more.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:58 PM on January 23, 2009


Neat. Reminds me of the time a university engineer housemate of mine showed us some figures he'd worked out that "proved" the bus in Speed *could* have made that jump over the gap in the overpass.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:06 PM on January 23, 2009


I had. A bad. Experience.
posted by Eideteker at 1:14 PM on January 23, 2009


Or a version of Alfie stripped of the social despair.

Yeah, that's another... I did slip and watched the Sleuth remake. That was a mistake (screw you, Tony Parsons saying it was better than the original.)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:15 PM on January 23, 2009


Every time a remake of a classic is completely forgotten god resurrects a kitten.
posted by Artw at 1:18 PM on January 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Good, because I just completely forgot about the Richard Gere Breathless.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:20 PM on January 23, 2009


Remake? Not in my universe. Next you'll be saying they remade Get Carter or The Wicker Man...

Precisely. Also, what's it called when there's an awful and, to the comedy gods, blasphemous remake and then a sequel to the awful and blasphemous remake? Because some should tell Steve Martin.
posted by ob at 1:25 PM on January 23, 2009


You guys heard about the upcoming remake of If.... with Michael Cera? That oughta be good.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:30 PM on January 23, 2009


Maybe I'm being dense (very likely) - but what is the point of smashing the windows?
posted by afx237vi at 1:36 PM on January 23, 2009


"The Italian Job: Problem Solved "

Oh, thank god. This has been keeping me awake at night for the last 40 years.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:39 PM on January 23, 2009


Problem solved.
posted by dhartung at 2:15 PM on January 23, 2009


All this just goes to show that anything can be improved by the addition of vandalism and masonry.
posted by moss at 2:25 PM on January 23, 2009


If you smash the back windows out you lessen the weight in the back.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:40 PM on January 23, 2009


Step 1: ban remakes...
posted by pompomtom at 2:46 PM on January 23, 2009


If you smash the back windows out you lessen the weight in the back.

But how are you going to get to the back of the bus without tipping it over the cliff?
posted by afx237vi at 2:52 PM on January 23, 2009


>THROW GOLD BRICK THROUGH WINDOW

The brick bounces off the window. The bus sways alarmingly. Are you sure you want to do that?
posted by Artw at 2:56 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Silly premise, that much gold weighs so much more than the people...
posted by sfts2 at 3:26 PM on January 23, 2009


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.

It took four decades to come up with this?
posted by hifiparasol at 3:31 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Video
posted by P.o.B. at 4:22 PM on January 23, 2009


Silly premise, that much gold weighs so much more than the people...

2,000 lbs of gold is a cube a little over 14" on a side. Looks like they have that and then some.
posted by maxwelton at 4:24 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the focal point is not exactly in the middle of the bus, it still works even if the gold side weighs more than the people.
posted by stbalbach at 7:02 PM on January 23, 2009


afx237vi: "But how are you going to get to the back of the bus without tipping it over the cliff?"

Any windows forward of the gold, but in back of the bus focal/tipping point.

G....T....P

(G=gold, T=tipping point (edge of cliff), P=people). Any windows between G and T will lighten the gold side of the bus. So we presume as criminals they are packing guns? I didn't see the movie. If not, they can probably still get to the windows closest to T, once those are out, get the next set and so on. Worked out with maths.
posted by stbalbach at 7:09 PM on January 23, 2009


I'd like to see this attempted on Mythbusters.
posted by bobo123 at 8:45 PM on January 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Birdcage
posted by cthuljew at 3:54 AM on January 25, 2009


Get on this one mythbusters!
posted by lou at 5:33 AM on January 25, 2009


The windows bit is purely for comedy effect/grasping at straws, surely. The bus is on a balance point and the weight of all the windows in that bus is about two gold bars at most, I'd guess. I mean, glass (particularly old vehicle glass) is damn heavy, but only in a "it's only a window" context. In the same way, deflating the front tyres will make no difference anyway, as the balance point won't be changed by it. If you can get out to drop the tyre pressures, start throwing rocks in and stop pissing about...

Getting rid of the fuel in order to allow one of them to get off and start throwing rocks in seems very sensible to me. With enough time, you'd do it, and from my memory of the film, they are all celebrating at this stage as they are in the Swiss Alps and so out of the reach of the Italian authorities. I think 'out of the country' was much more of significant step in that day and age.

As soon as you have enough rocks in there, get the first lot of gold dragged down, then the second lot is easy. Start burying the gold somewhere easy to find later (you've just dug a big hole collecting rocks, for a start) and then shove the bus off the cliff to hide the point of the crash. Hitch a lift or walk to civilisation. Come back and get the gold at your convenience.

The 'smart arse' that says "Ah, but now you've flattened the tyres and used all your fuel up, how are you going to escape?" is an idiot. The problem isn't just that the gold is not reachable, it's that they can't just drive back on the cliff because the drive wheels are several thousand feet up in the air. So it's irrelevant whether, once you recover the gold, that the bus can't drive or start any more. Anything big enough to pull the bus back is big enough to carry the lads and the gold they just got out of it. Shove the bus over!
posted by Brockles at 7:11 AM on January 25, 2009


I rather liked 12-year-old Thomas Nixon's solution (from the BBC coverage of this) which was:

"... for the gang to sing until they all got "frogs" in their throats. The frogs start to jump up and down which rocks the bus. They use the "rocks" to weigh down the end of the bus. Eventually, the gang's throats become sore from the singing. And with the "saw" they cut the gold bullion in half. Because two halves make a whole - the gang could sneak the gold through the "hole"."

posted by jonesor at 10:36 AM on January 25, 2009


There is another solution. Wait for the Italian authorities to arrive. And then bribe them.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:34 AM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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