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  1. #1
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    I am interested in British heist / caper movies made before the 1980's, although I would also be interested in finding out about more recent movies. I would also be interested in hearing about members favourite British heist movies. I should say that I am more interested in straight (ish) caper movies as opposed to comedy caper movies.



    The League of Gentlemen

    A Prize of Arms

    The Italian Job

    Gambit

    Payroll

    Perfect Friday

    Robbery

    The Jokers

    A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square

    The First Great Train Robbery (is this British?)

    *The Fast Kill



    The above are of varying quality and I know that I'm missing a few. Can members suggest any I haven't included? There will of course be some disagreement over the exact definition of a heist / caper movie. For example I would suggest that the recent 'Sexy Beast' be categorised as a gangster movie rather than a heist movie. Similarly 'Buster' would be seen as a drama.



    * Depicts films I have yet to see. I would like to know if any members have seen these movies?





    C

  2. #2
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    Odd Man Out

    Day They Robbed The Bank Of England

    The Criminal

    Deadfall

    The Safecracker

  3. #3
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    Put me down for all of the above plus:

    "THE FLYING SCOT" 1957

    "LASSITER" 1983

    "LOOPHOLE" 1981

    "THE GOOD DIE YOUNG" 1955

    And all the Dermot Walsh, William Sylvester, Lee Patterson and Ronald Lewis low budget Butcher Film Services and Danzigers Studios produtions.

  4. #4
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    Carterh:



    There will of course be some disagreement over the exact definition of a heist / caper movie. For example I would suggest that the recent 'Sexy Beast' be categorised as a gangster movie rather than a heist movie. Similarly 'Buster' would be seen as a drama.



    C
    IMO The caper or heist film normally deals with the intricate planning and undertaking of an elaborate major robbery often against a seemingly impregnable security system. The participants in the caper are usually experts in a particular skill necessary for the execution of the crime who must put aside any personal differences and form a team. Convention requires that although the robbery may be successful, the gang members are eventually caught or killed, either because of internal tensions within the group and/or ironic twists of fate. eg The Asphalt Jungle, The Killing, Rififi and The League of Gentlemen.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    No Lavender Hill Mob? violent



    Mario Zampi also directed a couple called Too Many Crooks and The Wrong Arm of the Law.



    Which links us to Sellers in Two Way Stretch.



    Then there's Rotten to the Core.

  6. #6
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    DB7:

    No Lavender Hill Mob? violent
    Carterh excluded comedy caper films (of which there are legion) in the original post. If not we must include THE LADYKILLERS.

  7. #7
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    I was thinking of straight caper films rather than comedies. To the list of Comedy caper movies we could add "The Big Job", "A Fish Called Wanda" and "Blue Murder at St Trinians".



    In reference to Dylan's excellent post on the conventions of the heist / caper film I would add that in modern (or post-modern) times the ending were the participants get there comeuppance is usually replaced by one were the job appears to have gone wrong but in a final twist we see the participants win the day. See "Sneakers", "The Score" or the recent "Oceans 11" remake to name but a few. The four heist movies you named are in my view the four best: “Rifif", "The League of Gentlemen”, “The Asphalt Jungle” and “The Killing.”

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    dylan:

    Carterh excluded comedy caper films (of which there are legion) in the original post. If not we must include THE LADYKILLERS.
    Missed that.



    I'll see the The Italian Job, The Jokers et al in a different light henceforth..

  9. #9
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    That is of course true, but they are not out and out comedies I would argue. However I take your point and many of the comedy films mentioned have heists that are as well planned and 'realistic' as the more 'serious' caper movies.



    C

  10. #10
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    Hi - your rather good description of the caper movie formula also fits many breaking out of POW camp films and 'The Great Escape' fits wonderfully.



    "IMO The caper or heist film normally deals with the intricate planning and undertaking of an elaborate major robbery often against a seemingly impregnable security system.



    thumbs_u It fits so far if you replace the word 'robbery' with 'escape'.



    The participants in the caper are usually experts in a particular skill necessary for the execution of the crime



    thumbs_u The Scrounger, The Forger et al.



    who must put aside any personal differences and form a team.



    thumbs_u Hilts strikes out on his own at first but then channels his energies for the cause.



    Convention requires that although the robbery may be successful, the gang members are eventually caught or killed,



    Yep



    either because of internal tensions within the group and/or ironic twists of fate."



    'Or ironic twists of fate' which reminds me instantly of when Gordon Jackson replies in English to one of the Germans, after he had warned a fellow POW about that trick in the camp.



    But as 'The Great Escape' is a US production it doesn't count so I'd like to nominate 'Danger Within' as a British POW caper movie.

  11. #11
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    I meant Dylan's description of the caper movie formula...sorry blush

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