This chapter evaluates the British heist film. The heist movie is more than a film about robbery and financial gain; it is a carefully constructed generic type that developed in the late 1950s and evolved from both Hollywood and European cinema. The image of the gentleman crook, the jewel thief, or safe breaker who remain undetected whilst carrying out their crime is an important one in both English and French crime fiction. It was Jules Dassin's 1955 film Du rififi chez les hommes, more succinctly known as Rififi, that set the tone, structure, and aesthetic for the heist thriller and ensured that it would become ‘an international cinematic genre’. Rififi contains the three main narrative stages that will come to typify the heist thriller: the plan, the execution, and the aftermath. These stages, although often varying in length, are present in most, if not all, heist thrillers and not only shape the audiences' expectations but propel the narrative forward. The chapter then looks at Basil Dearden's The League of Gentlemen (1960) and Jonathan Glazer's Sexy Beast (2000).
Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.