Will the Heist Work? Will the Movie?


If you go to the movies at all regularly, chances are good that by the time the end credits have rolled on your earthly existence, you’ll have spent a couple hundred hours or so sitting in the dark watching small groups of very intense people stealing stuff from banks, art museums, racetracks, casinos, high-end jewelers, armored cars and railroad trains.

Ever since John Huston’s “Asphalt Jungle” set the pattern for the genre in 1950, the heist picture has been enduringly popular with film audiences around the world, for reasons that surely have something to do with the universal allure of ill-gotten gains. But while the dream of the big score may be what attracts the audience’s attention, the classic heist movies, like “The Asphalt Jungle,” Jules Dassin’s “Rififi” (1955) and Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing” (1956), all show — sometimes in excruciating detail — that the acquisition of easy money can be mighty hard work.

That’s certainly the case in Roger Donaldson’s new “Bank Job”, which is based on a real 1971 London robbery and which involves, as British exercises in this genre often do, a fearsome amount of tunneling. And although some of the cinema’s many diligent heisters do manage to get away with their spoils, most of them sooner or later come to grief.

(Source: New York Times)

Classic Movies, Commentary, New Movies

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