Director Reveals Truth About 'Bank Job' The movie, based on an actual heist in London in 1971, opens Friday. Director Roger Donaldson discusses what he learned from the incredible robbery.
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Director Reveals Truth About 'Bank Job'

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Director Reveals Truth About 'Bank Job'

Director Reveals Truth About 'Bank Job'

Director Reveals Truth About 'Bank Job'

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The movie The Bank Job is based on an actual heist in London in 1971. Alex Chadwick talks with director Roger Donaldson about the movie which opens Friday. The most incredible parts of the plot, we find, are actually true.

'The Bank Job'

Terry (Jason Statham) is a small-time crook who tries a big-time heist — and stumbles into an enormous scandal — in The Bank Job. Jack English/Lionsgate hide caption

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Jack English/Lionsgate
  • Director: Roger Donaldson
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

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London's "walkie-talkie bank job" of 1971 got its name when a ham-radio operator picked up conversations between burglars and a lookout and reported them to police. From that nugget of fact, the filmmakers have created an amusingly detailed, vaguely plausible fiction — a bank heist caper involving royal sexcapades, the British secret service, a brothel that caters to members of Parliament, bungling bobbies who coddle curmudgeonly crooks, and a good deal of frenetic tunneling.

Director Roger Donaldson, with writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, has found ways to give things a comic twist (or six) without actually turning the film into an outright comedy, and in Jason Statham, they have an agreeably poker-faced leading man. If the result rarely feels very urgent, it's still plausibly acted and decently plotted, and it has a pleasantly old-fashioned feel to it — along with a crackerjack last 10 minutes.