This club is famous for... 'appearing' in the Italian JobNovember 8, 2016
It was the film scene that made the Mini Cooper a movie institution. But what was Copsewood Grange's role in the Italian Job?
IT’S the movie moment that made a car a British institution.
The sight of a trio of Mini Coopers, streaking through the sewer systems of Turin as Charlie Croker and pals strike a blow for Blighty when daringly robbing £4 million in gold, never fails to raise a smile.
It’s nearly 50 years since The Italian Job first thrilled audiences in cinemas and made a star of the diminutive car.
But did you know that iconic scene wasn’t entirely filmed in the northern Italian city?
A West Midlands golf club seems an unlikely spot for movie immortality but Copsewood Grange’s claim to fame is their small part in the Hollywood blockbuster.
For it was under the course that the magic minute of footage, which plays host to some of the film’s most daring shots, was put together.
The entrance and exits to the sequence were filmed in the beautiful Italian city but the sewers there weren’t big enough to handle the Minis.
Producers looked a little closer to home and to the new Birmingham-Coventry Tithebarn pipe in Stoke Aldermoor.
It was under construction at the time and deep excavations had been dug across the course for the new system.
The former GEC and Marconi works course, now a private members club, would move their 9-hole track to cater for the sewer, which lies under Allard Way.
All you see in the movie is the dark of the tunnel and the lights of the cars as the drivers attempt a series of dangerous stunts.
Copsewood Grange’s moment of stardom isn’t the only time a golf course has taken centre stage in the movies.
The famous scene in the early James Bond epic Goldfinger, where 007 plays a game of cheat and double cheat with the movie villain, was played at the fictional Royal St Mark’s.
But it was shot at Stoke Park, in Buckinghamshire, and remains cinema’s most famous golf scene.