movie heists, so you know they won't disappoint. Unless you like movies about kids robbing their high school—nothing like that here.
The 1946 film "The Killers" is famous for featuring the debut of acting legend Burt Lancaster, but there's an underrated heist sequence in the middle of the movie that's truly impressive. In one, unbroken take, the camera follows a payroll robbery. Even more impressive is that the sequence is timed perfectly to coincide with the voiceover narration consisting of a newspaper report of the robbery. It's impressive and ahead-of-its-time, just like all of the best movie heists.
"The Asphalt Jungle"
The idea of a "heist movie" genre didn't exist in 1950, so John Huston had to invent it. So many of the elements are in place: The disparate band of criminals being brought in on a "big job," a virtuoso, wordless 11-minute heist sequence, and more. And that sequence is a doozy. It almost doubles as a lesson in safecracking featuring nitroglycerine, disabling security systems, and more—all without dialog. It's tough to find a heist sequence that came after that didn't steal from "The Asphalt Jungle."
"Big Deal on Madonna Street"
It might be a good idea to watch a movie about a heist gone horribly wrong, just to keep things in perspective. In this screwball caper, a band of idiotic criminals spend a ton of time and effort breaking into an apartment due to its sharing a wall with a lucrative safe. They mess it up though, in a hilariously moronic fashion. Criminals: They're just like you and me!
One common movie heist trick is to arrange for your heist to coincide with some major event. In this case of this Rat Pack movie, it's a casino heist that takes place as the clock strikes 12 on New Year's Eve. Nobody's watching the security cameras, man! It's perfect!
"The Red Circle"
Jean-Pierre Melville is the master of the heist sequence, and the 30-minute one at the end of "The Red Circle" is probably his best. Like "The Asphalt Jungle," it could serve as an introductory course to the art of the heist.
This is another Melville heist movie, featuring Richard Crenna lowering himself onto a train by helicopter, getting into the train, posing as a guest on board the sleeping car, breaking into a room, stealing the goods, then leaving the train again by helicopter. This is an incredibly impressive sequence marred only by some fake-looking miniature work. But if you can get past that, it's a winner.
The art of the heist is closely linked to the art of the con, and in "The Sting," Paul Newman and Robert Redford pull one of the greatest heist/cons of all time on the villainous Robert Shaw. It involves an incredibly elaborate faux betting parlor, and fooling Shaw into betting on the wrong horse. It's also a con on the audience, but all they get from you is whatever you paid to watch the DVD.
Alda's high-rise apartment for millions of dollars in gold. Things don't quite go as planned, and many of the aforementioned stars end up dangling from the top of a tower suspended in a bright red sports car. It makes sense when you see the movie, trust us.