Caine reveals Italian Job ending

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The 1969 film ends with a gang of gold thieves hanging over a ravine in a bus. Every step they take towards the loot threatens to tip them into the abyss.

"Hang on lads, I've got a great idea," says Sir Michael's character, Charlie Croker... and then the credits roll.

The star says he would have saved them by "switching on the engine", burning off petrol until it righted itself.

"I crawl up, switch on the engine and stay there for four hours until all the petrol runs out," he said.

"The van bounces back up so we can all get out, but then the gold goes over."

"There are a load of Corsican Mafia at the bottom watching the whole thing with binoculars. They grab the gold, and then the sequel is us chasing it."

Sir Michael first revealed his version of the events in a BBC One documentary marking his 70th birthday, but gave fuller details at the 2008 Visit London Awards this week - where he was named London's favourite Londoner.

He even suggested that the alternative ending had been filmed in 1969, but producers later decided against using it.

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