Tag Archives: Jim Brown

The heist always goes wrong, part 1: ten of the best heist movies ever made

asphalt01I love a good heist film.

I love the genius and intricacy of their plots and the variations they come in, whether it be the all star team assembled for a job or the desperate ex-cons trying for one last score.

But most of all I love them because of the golden rule of all good heist films – for whatever reason, the heist always goes wrong.

What do you need for a good heist?

You need a plan for actual heist itself, the getaway, and moving, storing and fencing whatever it is you’ve stolen. The more complicated the plan, the more likely it is that something will go wrong.

You need a crew of people; one man or woman alone cannot do a heist. This introduces the human element and all the problems that come with it, the greed, suspicions, jealousies and uncertainties.

I’ve been thinking for a while now about what my top ten-heist films would be and the following list, in no particular order, is it.

The robbery itself is almost immaterial to how I rate a good heist film. What I like is the context and atmosphere in which the heist takes place and inevitable problems that arise after it’s been pulled off. And the darker and more broken things get, the better the film is in my book.… Read more

Dark of the Sun: fighting for the highest bidder

It’s always tempting to start any discussion of a movie like Dark of the Sun by saying they don’t make them like this any more.

Hell, I say this about movies, particularly sixties and seventies movies, all the time on my blog. But thinking about it, I’m not entirely sure they made many films like this all that often back then either.

Dark of the Sun didn’t do particularly well upon its release in 1968 and remained pretty much unknown until recently when Tarantino championed it, giving it cult status, and Warner Archive released a manufacture on demand disk.

I first saw Dark of the Sun with my parents in the early eighties on the Sunday night movie of the week. It’s hard to conceptualise now, but the Sunday night movie was a big deal back then. I’ve watched it many times since, first on an old second hand VHS copy I owned, then on a copied DVD version bought on the Internet.

Dark of the Sun (aka The Mercenaries) was directed by Jack Cardiff and adapted from a 1965 adventure novel by the African-born British writer, Wilbur Smith, not really a regular fixture on my reading list but dad loved his books.

The movie stars Rod Taylor as Captain Bruce Curry, in what is commonly agreed to be his best role.… Read more