In the 110 years since “The Great Train Robbery” was made, filmmakers have fed moviegoers a healthy diet of intrigue, action, and thievery. It seems everyone loves a good fantasy, and what better fantasy is there than to steal other people’s money and get away with it? The film industry has literally produced thousands of movies, many of which center around safes, cracking safes, and escaping from safes and vaults. Here, in a very small nutshell, are some of the best movies that revolve around getting into (or out of) safes.
1. The Safecracker, 1958 – This British film centers around Ray Millard as Colley Dawson, a law-abiding expert locksmith who meets Bennett Carfield (Barry Jones), a shady character who deals in antiques. Set in 1938, Carfield convinces Dawson to become partners: Dawson as the safecracker, Carfield as the money-maker. Dawson doesn’t just crack one safe, he cracks several. And with each safe he plunders, he inches toward a more comfortable life with his love interest, Vi. But two years in, he gets caught, and in order to stay free, he must break into the one safe that can save his life, and the future of his beloved country. And thus, this final safe symbolizes his redemption, and a return to an honest man’s life.
2. Die Hard, 1988 – The first installation of this hugely successful franchise stars Bruce Willis as NYC detective John McClane, who is in L.A. over the Christmas holidays to visit his wife and two kids. While at Christmas party at the fictional Nakatomi Plaza, a group of East German terrorists take everyone hostage. Somehow, McClane escapes detection, and discovers the group plans to break into the building’s vault and steal millions. Preventing the theft means he must survive, and kill, the terrorists. The vault remains intact throughout the chaos, a character without speaking. Could its coldness and depth represent McClane’s life? Perhaps. Throughout it all, McClane shows little emotion but, of course, he’s too busy killing bad guys to contemplate his crumbling marriage.
3. Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, 1969 – This classic Western stars Robert Redford and the late, great Paul Newman. Loosely based on events of the Hole in the Wall Gang, Butch and Sundance make a living robbing trains and blowing up safes and bank vaults in the American West. Early in the movie, Butch suggests heading to Bolivia, and after a particularly wearying chase led by an expert Indian tracker and tenacious lawman, the two men convince the woman who loves them, Etta Place, to accompany them to the small South American country. The men rob a series of banks, each one with a safe full of money. For these two, it’s an addiction they can’t give up, and after a brief attempt to go straight, the lure of the chase hooks them again. Like a deadly drug, safecracking eventually kills them, ironically, when they weren’t even on a robbery.
4. Thief, 1981 – James Caan stars as Frank, a recent ex-con who dreams of a normal life: a wife, kids, and a nice home in a nice neighborhood. The only problem is, he needs to crack enough safes to allow him to “retire” for good. Anxious to leave a life of crime behind, he agrees to perform the biggest heist of his life for the mafia. The last safe he must crack for the mob is supposed to be his ticket to the good life. Instead, it’s a fast track to misery. “Just one more,” was his reasoning, and that last one should have been left alone. His choice leads to a chain of events that forever rob him of any hope for a stable, happy future with his girlfriend, and robs his friends of their lives. Jim Belushi stars as Barry, Frank’s friend. Tuesday Weld stars as his love interest, and Willie Nelson makes an appearance as Frank’s jail house mentor, Okla, who taught Frank everything he knows.
Article donated by Safe Options, distributor of all types of safes including office safes.