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A few good news from the festival circuit I Bienvenue sur le blog de Bruno avec quelques news en français du circuit des festivals francophones. Laissez moi un commentaire quand vous le pouvez.


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The Best Safe-Cracking Scenes

Heist movies create many moments of sumptuous cinema. There's the squad's formation, each member with a specialist skill that they bring to the operation. There's the recognisance, as the members of the team discover exactly what impregnable security processes they are up against and there's the heist itself when something always goes wrong or some double-crossing member of the group reveals themself.

While this conventional heist formula might have had its day and more original conceptions are needed, there have been moments of great theatre. One element of these heist movies is the actual safe cracking, as the expert safecracker turns the dial and locks and levers are moved into place to allow access to the desired loot.

It's an edge of your seat moment and these movies do it best. 

The Italian Job 

We're actually looking at the 2003 heist action The Italian Job starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton and Jason Statham, rather than the 1969 crime comedy with Michael Caine as Charlie Croker. While the film might have underwhelmed many, it presents a worthy example of the safe-cracking scene, as (Theron) Stella Bridger, a professional safe-cracker, uses technology to achieve the goal her father previously also achieved with just instinct. 

There was a video game to accompany this blockbuster, but the focus was more on driving than safe cracking. Safe-cracking appears in video games generally as a mini-game and can even form the focus of a game such as the Action Bank slot which sees players spin the reels trying to access the prize vault and win some real money. It's an ideal dressing for a slot title, using suspense to up the ante even if the player is pressing just one button. The safe-cracking scene in The Italian Job creates genuine tension as Stella is forced to compose herself with a few confident inhales and perform before the plan falls apart and the music used is apt.

The Score

The Score stars Robert De Niro and Edward Norton but is also the only time that Marlon Brando and De Niro appeared on-screen together. The movie treads familiar ground for anyone that has previously watched a heist movie, but Brando, De Niro and Norton make this compelling viewing. A safe-cracking scene can be memorable if the method of cracking the safe is unexpected or ingenious.

In this film, De Niro (Nick Wells) uses the safe-cracking fraternity refers what to as a 'waterbomb', which involves filling the safe with water and inserting a depth charge to blow off the door. Both an unforeseen and genuine real-life method used for cracking safes makes this a striking scene and worthy of a place on this list.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

This 1969 American Western film was loosely based on the real-life Wild Bunch robbers and stared Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman), and his companion Harry Longabaugh, the "Sundance Kid" (Robert Redford). There simply had to be a train robbery and a gigantic explosion on this list, and Butch and Sundance deliver both.

An unanticipated disaster can make a safe-cracking scene cracking and in this scene Cassidy, using too much dynamite to blow open the safe resulting in an explosion which demolishes a good portion of the train makes for an exceptional moment. While this film will always be remembered as one of Hollywood's great endings, there are many great scenes and the safe-cracking is one of them.

No doubt we've missed a great safe-cracking scene you've enjoyed, but this short selection provides three dissimilar scenes performing the same mechanic and we treasure each of them.

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About Bruno

chatelin bruno

This Blog in french, is managed by Bruno Chatelin

It covers the french film festivals circuit with ambience and news.
Videos and audio podcasts.

C'est qui Bruno?
HEC, publicitaire chez Intermarco Publicis, DMM et JWT puis distributeur chez Sony Pictures (Directeur Marketing) de 1987 à 1995 puis UGC FOX (Directeur Général de 95 à 97, à la création du GIE)

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