We scour the archives to find some of the best ever heist films
Heist movie Takers stars Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Chris Brown, TI and Michael Early as a group of bank robbers plotting to undertake their biggest heist yet, worth a whopping US$30 million. But will it join the ranks of these all-time-great cinematic theft flicks?
Takers is in UAE cinemas now.
The Italian Job (1969)
Michael Caine, Noël Coward, Benny Hill, Raff Valone
Paramount Pictures boss Robert Evans originally wanted Robert Redford for the part of Charlie Croker, but it was Michael Caine who ultimately won the hearts of cinema audiences in the late ’60s, and he’s held on to them pretty firmly for the past 50 years. In fact,
in a 2003 movie survey conducted in the UK, Charlie’s line ‘You’re only supposed to blow the b***** doors off!’ was voted the most memorable line
in movie history. This film also boasts one of the best cliffhanger endings
of all time.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy García
As the name suggests, 11 men led by Danny Ocean (Clooney) take on a daring heist in this remake of the classic ’60s Rat Pack flick, targeting three casinos and a spine-tingling US$150 million. Deliciously slick and endlessly entertaining, director Steven Soderbergh deserves a big pat on the back for orchestrating this all-round success, which spawned two sequels. In the final scene of the movie, which sees the group watching the spectacular Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas, Soderbergh wanted Rusty (Pitt) to leave first, while the rest of the cast were instructed to improvise, and go in the order that felt most natural.
Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer
Given the stellar casting, there was enormous hype surrounding this film before its release – which, naturally, the promoters played out, touting it
as the ‘De Niro/Pacino showdown’ –
and audiences were clamouring to see the two share the screen. Based on the experiences of a former Chicago police officer and his tracking of a criminal named McCauley in the ’60s, the film grossed US$187 million worldwide, but was blamed for inspiring a number of robberies in countries around the world, from South Africa to Norway, following
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway
Thomas Crown (McQueen) has the dirty work done for him after hiring five men to rob a bank and dump the money in a rubbish bin, which he later retrieves. While the US$2.6 million he collects may sound paltry, if the film were tailored to today’s inflation standards he’d be collecting US$16,562,460. Better than a smack in the face with a rusty poker. One-time milkman Sean Connery was initially offered the title role, but turned it down – a decision he is since said to have regretted.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn
In his directorial debut, Quentin Tarantino both changed the face of the heist movie and created a cult classic. Made on a budget of just US$1.2 million, the film is set immediately after a botched diamond job, and goes on to depict events before and after the incident, but not the heist itself. Various elements of the film have gone on to become Tarantino trademarks, including non-linear storylines, excessive profanity, black humour, extreme violence and pop culture references.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones, Sting
Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, the plot follows a group of London gangsters and hapless crooks, including the intriguingly named Bacon, Soap,
Barry the Baptist and Hatchet Harry.
It also boasts some of the best
one-liners of all time – regrettably, most are unprintable. Fittingly, given his on-screen character’s demeanour, Vinnie Jones arrived for the first day of filming having just been released from police custody – he had been arrested for beating up his neighbour.