In fact, he learned to drive while working on it, taking advantage of the fact that most scenes were shot on closed sets. When traffic is shut down for a closed set, you didn’t (and still don’t) need a valid driver’s license to be able to enjoy a ride, and Caine made the most of it.
Speaking of the famous car chase in and under Turin during an event in Oxford, U.K., marking the film’s 50th anniversary, Caine recalls his infatuation with the 3 Minis featured in it. He also recalls having to ride shotgun because he was just getting the hang of driving in between takes, according to The Sun.
“There’s a special thing about this film, personally, because I didn’t have a license and I couldn’t drive,” Caine said. “But we had such big areas for the Minis to move, you didn’t need a license because they were closed to ordinary traffic. So for me it was incredible because I learned to drive on the movie.”
The 50th anniversary of the film coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Mini. To this day, Caine admits that the real star of the film wasn’t his or any other character, but the cars featured. Just like it happened in the 2003 remake with Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham and Edward Norton.
“Of course, the great star of the movie, which we didn’t know, was the Mini. We just used Minis because it was a new car out and it became a worldwide success,” Caine said at the same event.
The film’s milestone anniversary was preceded by the announcement that the Lamborghini Miura featured in the opening scene – and thought to have been destroyed while shooting it – was discovered and authenticated.