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10 Most Clever Bank Robberies in Movies

By Spout | Spout August 10, 2011 at 5:03AM

by Christopher Campbell This list was originally published on July 1, 2009. It is being reposted ahead of the opening of the bank robbery comedy "30 Minutes or Less."
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10. Clive Owen Hides in the Wall, in "Inside Man" (2006)


In Spike Lee’s complex heist drama, Clive Owen plays one of the smartest, most precise bank robbers ever seen at the movies, and though his scheme is figured out in the end, it’s already too late for him to get caught. To begin, he and his team enter a New York City bank disguised as painters and refer to each other only as variations of the name “Steve.” Simple enough, but then as time goes on there are some mysterious activities going on with the moving of hostages and some sort of carpentry occurring inside a stockroom. Ultimately, the employment of fake kills and fake walls is ingenious, though the overall idea of camouflaging robbers as hostages had been done before (see #1).


9. The Money is Floating Out of the Bank, in "The Invisible Man" (1933)


Is an idea clever if it’s not technically possible? Well, there are apparently scientists working on achieving invisibility, with relative success, so in the future H.G Wells’ concept of an invisible man may not be so unfeasible for real life criminals. Of course, by then it won’t be such an original idea to rob a bank using the power of invisibility. It’s the second most likely thing for a man of such ability to do (the first is to go into the women’s’ locker room). For Claude Rains’ character in James Whale’s adaptation of the Wells novel, the concept was still pretty original and obviously quite brilliant. And his idea to have the money just float outside and into the streets, for the townspeople to take, is very generous.


This article is related to: Remakes, Full Films







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