Tonight’s Contenders: Heist Holdup

“It’s a perfect plan. So inspired. So devious. Yet so simple.”

The plan, the execution, and the aftermath.  These are the three components that make up any great heist movie.  The optional fourth component to ratchet up the tension is the “big dirty”.  The pressure of the last big score before retirement because, like police officers, thieves become bullet magnets if they ever decide to hang up their sneakers.

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of pulling off the perfect robbery and this week the conspirators of Monday Movie Nights will have a choice between the nine heist movies below.

Rififi (1955) – 122min

Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes…

The Killing (1956) – 85min

A daring race-track robbery brought to you by the master Stanley Kubrick.

The Italian Job (1969) – 99min

Michael Caine shows Marky Mark how it’s done with the original mini-heist movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

Le Circle Rouge (1970) – 140min

Jean-Pierre Melville’s minimalist heist classic.  After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Thief (1981) – 122min

James Caan is a professional safecracker dreaming of a normal life when he agrees to do the classic one last job for the mafia, who have other plans for him.

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) – 108min

Hilarious double-cross comedy featuring John Cleese, Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis.  In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.

Quick Change (1990) – 89min

Three thieves (Bill Murray, Geena Davis and Randy Quaid) successfully rob a New York City bank, but making the escape from the city proves to be almost impossible.

Heat (1995) – 170min

The second Michael Mann film on the list, it features two acting heavyweights past their prime.  A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

Heist (2001) – 109min

Featuring Gene Hackman and everyone’s favourite troll Danny Devito, a career jewel thief finds himself at tense odds with his longtime partner, a crime boss who sends his nephew to keep watch.

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