The Art of the Heist

The Art of the Heist

12 Episodes

A crack team, an ingenious scheme, a foolproof getaway plan . . . what could possibly go wrong? Perhaps the only thing more fun than watching a perfectly executed cinematic heist unfold is watching it unravel, as evidenced by these safe-cracking classics, each a tour de force of palm-sweating, high-stakes tension. Featuring ice-cool French thrillers like RIFIFI and LE CERCLE ROUGE, pulpy noir gems like THE KILLING, and rollicking capers like THE ITALIAN JOB and BIG DEAL ON MADONNA STREET, this survey of some of cinema’s most elaborate, daring, and memorable heists crackles with the white-knuckle thrill of the score.

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The Art of the Heist
  • Art of the Heist Teaser

    Episode 1

  • He Ran All the Way

    Episode 2

    Directed by John Berry • 1951 • United States
    Starring John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Wallace Ford

    John Garfield’s final film before his blacklisting and untimely death is a slam-bang pulp noir crackling with tightly wound tension. In one of his finest performances, Garfield plays a hardened so...

  • Rififi
    Episode 3


    Episode 3

    Directed by Jules Dassin • 1955 • France
    Starring Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel

    After making such American noir classics as BRUTE FORCE and THE NAKED CITY, the blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to Paris and embarked on his masterpiece: a twisting, turning tale of four ex-cons who...

  • The Killing

    Episode 4

    Directed by Stanley Kubrick • 1956 • United States
    Starring Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards

    Stanley Kubrick’s account of an ambitious racetrack robbery is one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs. Aided by a radically time-shuffling narrative, razor-sharp dialogue from pulp noveli...

  • Bob le flambeur

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1956 • France
    Starring Roger Duchesne, Daniel Cauchy, Isabelle Corey

    Suffused with wry humor, Jean-Pierre Melville’s BOB LE FLAMBEUR melds the toughness of American gangster films with Gallic sophistication to lay the road map for the French New Wave. As the ne...

  • Big Deal on Madonna Street

    Episode 6

    Directed by Mario Monicelli • 1958 • Italy

    An all-star cast and jazzy score highlight this charming comedy, a deft satire of classic caper films like Rififi. BIG DEAL ON MADONNA STREET hilariously details the plight of a sad-sack group of bumbling thieves and their desperate attempts to pull off...

  • The League of Gentlemen

    Episode 7

    Directed by Basil Dearden • 1960 • United Kingdom

    Bitter about being forced into retirement, a colonel (wittily embodied by Jack Hawkins) ropes a cadre of former British army men into aiding him in a one-million-pound bank robbery, a risky, multitiered plan that involves infiltrating a militar...

  • Cruel Gun Story

    Episode 8

    Directed by Takumi Furukawa • 1964 • Japan

    Fresh out of the slammer, Togawa (Branded to Kill's rough-and-ready Joe Shishido) has no chance to go straight because he is immediately coerced by a wealthy mob boss into organizing a heist on an armored car carrying racetrack receipts. After assemblin...

  • The Italian Job

    Episode 9

    Directed by Peter Collinson • 1969 • United Kingdom
    Starring Michael Caine, Noël Coward, Benny Hill

    Michel Caine and Mini Coopers make a dynamite pairing in this turbocharged heist romp. Caine radiates debonair charm as the suave ex-con who—along with Noël Coward’s imprisoned crime boss—orchestr...

  • Le cercle rouge

    Episode 10

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1970 • France
    Starring Alain Delon, Yves Montand, Gian Maria Volonté

    Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee (Gian Maria Volonté) and an alcoholic ex-cop (Yves Montand). The unlikely trio plot a heist, a...

  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle

    Episode 11

    Directed by Peter Yates • 1973 • United States
    Starring Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan

    In one of the best performances of his legendary career, Robert Mitchum plays small-time gunrunner Eddie “Fingers” Coyle in an adaptation by Peter Yates of George V. Higgins’s acclaimed novel “The...

  • Incident by a Bank

    Episode 12

    Directed by Ruben Östlund • 2009 • Sweden

    INCIDENT BY A BANK is a detailed and humorous account of a failed bank robbery: A single take where over 96 people perform a meticulous choreography for the camera. This short film recreates an actual event that took place in Stockholm back in June 2006;...