Tags Posts tagged with "scene"

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What is the greatest car chase scene of all time?

1

Bullitt

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 178
Bullitt

If the words ‘film car chase’ don’t conjure up the name Bullitt, then you’re missing out on one of cinema’s arguably coolest high-speed pursuits. Often referred to now as a yardstick against which all other car chases are measured, David Yates transforms Detective Frank Bullitt’s race around San Francisco into a realistic romp. Throwing Steve McQueen into the hot seat as he gears up his Mustang GT 390, the seven minutes whizz by like a drive-by tour of the iconic California city. Unlike modern cinematic chases there’s a gritty reality aided by spinning hubcaps, the shrieks of burning tyres, and plenty of collateral damage that’s in plain view. In some part, this genuine sense of the thrill is down to the flawless driving of noted stunt driver, Carey Loftlin, who stands in for McQueen during the riskier sections. What’s the finest part of the entire affair is the self-assured nature of Bullitt. Throughout the whole chase he still oozes charm and sophisticated cool, that makes audiences firmly believe it really is him hurtling down those lofty San Franciscan hills.

Release Date: October 17th, 1968 | Director: Peter Yates | Domestic Box Office: $42 million

Sequence Length: 7:00 | Location: San Francisco

Featured Cars: Mustang GT 390, 1968 Dodge Charger | Noted Actors: Steve McQueen | Youtube Views: 207, 317

2

Vanishing Point

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 123
Vanishing Point

Dressed up as a ‘70s ode to counter-culture living, Richard C. Sarafian’s driving flick was remade in 1997 but make no mistake, it’s the original that dishes up the coolest driving sequences. In fact, this entire movie is one giant car chase prompted by former motorcycle driver Kowalski’s bruised ego. After a wager at a truck stop, he embarks on a 24-hour cross-country jaunt that would be impossible for a regular joe. Kowalski isn’t your typical petrolhead, however, and that’s all down to a brilliant decision by director Sarafian. Since considered to be some of the finest stunt driving ever captured on film, the spectacular driving sequences were crafted and realised by legendary stunt driver Carey Loftin. Never has the vicarious thrill of watching a true artiste been so electrifying, as Loftin steers the Dodge Challenger brazenly through cityscapes, country roads, and into the path of the law. It’s the one scene in particular that lends Sarafian’s quest across the desert a huge edge - when the cops catch up to our antihero he’ll stop at nothing to outrun them.

Release Date: March 13th, 1971 | Director: Richard C. Sarafian | Domestic Box Office: $12 million

Sequence Length: 4:50| Location: American Southwest

Featured Cars: Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Jaguar E-Type | Noted Actors: Barry Newman | Youtube Views: 61, 036

3

The Matrix Reloaded

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 97
The Matrix Reloaded

The sequel to one of the most successful sci-fi sleeper hits of all time had to take things up a notch. It wouldn’t suffice for a highly-anticipated big budget blockbuster to scrimp on the action. And so, Warner Bros. upped the financing for the second trip to The Matrix. The scope of The Matrix Reloaded’s most bonkers scene as Trinity and Morpheus rescue The Keymaker and plot their escape, was so ambitious the shoot had to be carried out at a decommissioned naval airbase. On a freeway designed by The Wachowskis themselves. The siblings’ commitment to creating the exact environment to lens the utterly crazy car chase saw them carve out $40 million of the film’s budget solely for the 17-minute sequence. There’s so much action packed in, it’s hard to process the insanity of effects, slick car skills, and impressive CGI amidst all the chaos. From Agents pummelling the cars, to an impromptu sword fight on a truck, the busyness of this chase is unrivalled anywhere else on this list.

Release Date: May 15th, 2003 | Director: The Wachowskis | Domestic Box Office: $281 million

Sequence Length: 17:00 | Location: Naval Air Station, Alameda, California

Featured Cars: Cadillac CTS, Cadillac Escalade EXT | Noted Actors: Carrie Anne Moss, Lawrence Fishburne, Neil and Adrian Rayment | Youtube Views: 976, 980

4

Death Proof

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 98
Death Proof

For some, Death Proof is considered one of Tarantino’s less impressive efforts. One thing’s for certain, it doesn’t prescribe to his normal mode of filmmaking. A shift from his typical dialogue-driven storytelling, it peels back the preconceptions and stands as a truly thrilling car chase picture. It’s also the only entry on this list to include not one, but two groups of women behind the wheel. Leading the pack for the second half, where the film’s climactic final chase occurs is stuntwoman Zoe, who enjoys sprawling herself across the hood of speeding cars in a game called “Half Mast.” At first it’s a blast, until crazed psychopath Stuntman Mike leers into view, slamming the girls’ Dodge Challenger to shake Zoe loose from the hood over and over. A real-life stuntwoman, Zoe’s game-turned-nightmare is a dazzling display of dangerous bravura, that injects what could have been a run of the mill pursuit into a heart-pounding assault on the senses. When the girls finally get one up on the evil Mike, after all that, you can’t half blame them.

Release Date: April 6th, 2007 | Director: Quentin Tarantino | Domestic Box Office: $25 million

Sequence Length: 12:00 | Location: Texas

Featured Cars: 1970 Dodge Challenger, 1969 Dodge Charger | Noted Actors: Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thorns | Youtube Views: 193, 523

5

The Driver

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 114
The Driver

Walter Hill’s raw driving approach in The Driver, placed Ryan O’Neal behind the wheel for a stream of chases all captured by the director’s sharp kinetic style. One of the most influential driving movies to emerge from the ‘70s haul of car pics, it left its mark on cinema in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 homage Drive, and was directly sampled in the video game series, Driver. O’ Neal’s smooth criminal operates as a professional car thief who moonlights as a getaway driver. So it comes as no surprise that his livelihood offers him the upper hand when veering away from the threat of capture. In one of the film’s standout scenes, The Driver whips out some of his street skills to track down a couple of plainclothes officers. The rush of the driving is heightened by the placement of cameras on the front and rear bumpers, offering audiences an immersive experience from such a vantage point. With the only audio accompaniment the sound of screeching tires and the tug of a gear change, it’s a cool entry into the pantheon of movie car chases.

Release Date: July 10th, 1978 | Director: Walter Hill | Domestic Box Office: $2.2 million

Sequence Length: 12:38 | Location: Los Angeles

Featured Cars: 1976 Pontiac Trans Am, 1977 Chevrolet Sidestep | Noted Actors: Ryan O'Neal | Youtube Views: 45, 333

6

The French Connection

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 100
The French Connection

Before he tackled the supernatural realm of The Exorcist, William Friedkin commandeered this tale of cops vs. robbers through the streets of 70s New York City. Ushering leading man Gene Hackman into the public sphere via his depiction of grizzled cop Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, the story traces his battle to bring down a ring of heroin smugglers. His phenomenal performance went on to secure him the Oscar for Best Actor, and it’s believed by many to be the result of the film’s stand-out car chase scene. Behind the wheel of a Pontiac Le Mans, Doyle relentlessly pursues a killer who just happens to be in an elevated train hurtling around New York. What’s easily become one of the most famous vehicular pursuits in cinema is perhaps so memorable because it in fact only includes one car. The downright dangerous lengths Doyle goes to in order to catch his man is testament to Friedkin’s storytelling power; hinting at the cop’s unyielding grit for justice.

Release Date: October 9th, 1971 | Director: William Friedkin | Domestic Box Office: $51 million

Sequence Length: 5:30 | Location: New York City

Featured Cars: Pontiac Le Mans | Noted Actors: Gene Hackman | Youtube Views: 76, 369

7

Ronin

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 86
Ronin

Legendary helmer John Frankenheimer’s brilliant trio of car chases in his 1998 flick Ronin outshines his own sterling work from 1966 racing actioner, Grand Prix. Utilising a series of Formula One drivers to serve as stunt drivers for the scenes, their confident skills showcase the director’s eye for an exciting pursuit. A handful of popular European muscle cars, such as the Audi S8, Mercedes Benz 6.9, and BMW M5 storm around the slim Parisian streets inflicting damage and strife wherever they turn. The fast-paced sequences journey up the French Riviera as the film’s mercenaries pursue one another across a flood of beautiful landscapes. With a main core of characters who are seemingly unvexed by their own scrapes with death, the high point emerges as they roar in the wrong direction down a busy motorway. It’s the sense of speed Frankenheimer imparts that’s phenomenal here; these aren’t the flashiest chases but they’re the most impressive.

Release Date: September 25th, 1998 | Director: John Frankenheimer | Domestic Box Office: $41 million

Sequence Length: 7:45 | Location: Paris

Featured Cars: Audi S8, Mercedes Benz 6.9, BMW M5 | Noted Actors: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone | Youtube Views: 767,558

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Gone in 60 Seconds

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 100
Gone in 60 Seconds

Cast away any thoughts of the sub-par Nicolas Cage remake and instead recall the brilliance of the 1974 original. An ambitious feature, director and star H B Halicki’s high-octane romp possesses one of the most daring sequences committed to celluloid. In a bold and now unheard-of approach, the story culminates in one of the longest ever car chases clocking in at 35 minutes. Sharing the screen with a yellow Ford Mustang, Halicki travels far and wide to avoid capture by the authorities on his tail. The pursuit snakes across multiple cities in one long uninterrupted scene of total vehicular carnage that’s as exciting to watch as it no doubt was to film. A total of 93 cars were decimated by the end of the shoot, one of which was the result of Halicki’s own boisterous driving causing him to crash into a telegraph pole. Filming may have been halted for a time, but the momentum doesn’t suffer, continually ploughing on into new urban areas with the occasional slow-down breather. It’s a staggering accomplishment, purely in terms of stamina, that will go down as one of the biggest car scenes ever pulled off successfully.

Release Date: July 28th, 1974 | Director: H.B. Halicki | Domestic Box Office: $40 million

Sequence Length: 35:00 | Location: Long Beach, California

Featured Cars: Ford Mustang | Noted Actors: H.B. Halicki | Youtube Views: 161, 082

9

The Bourne Identity

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 77
The Bourne Identity

Doug Liman’s first entry in the hugely-successful Bourne series warmed up audiences to amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne, whose mission is to uncover his true identity. Bouncing across Europe, desperate to evade capture, the close call comes in Paris when authorities have him cornered. While the two sequels boasted bigger budgets, Liman executed the series’ most concise and thrilling chase sequence in the crowded Parisian streets. Bourne utters the words “Buckle up” to his companion Marie; Paul Oakenfold’s Ready Steady Go amps up, and the classic red Mini Cooper charges through the narrow back alleys, public crossings and seemingly-impossible thoroughfares dotted across the historical capital. Indulging in the car’s micro size, Bourne navigates it to great effect - fooling his pursuers whose boxier police vehicles are no match for the tiny Mini. Straying onto sidewalks and cutting corners through effective gear-shifting, he might not know who he is - but he’s one helluva driver. Coming to an abrupt end when a police bicyclist is sent sprawling across the hood of a Peugeot 405, Bourne zooms off in his damaged Mini. Which was the only one of five used in the shoot to make it through.

Release Date: June 14th, 2002 | Director: Doug Liman | Domestic Box Office: $121 million

Sequence Length 3:30 | Location: Paris

Featured Cars: Mini Cooper, Peugeot 405 | Noted Actors: Matt Damon, Franke Potenke | Youtube Views: 277, 777

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To Live and Die in L.A.

Dec 20, 2014 - youtube.com - 96
To Live and Die in L.A.

William Friedkin’s stab at another car chase, this time in 1985 cop thriller To Live And Die In L.A., might not top the sheer breathlessness of The French Connection - but it’s a close call. With car enthusiast William Petersen as a Secret Service Agent, the risky copper takes to the highway in a beat up Chevy Impala to track down his shifting target. With a director such as Friedkin, whose creative eye leant the chase a unique edge, there’s a number of simple tricks at play that amp up this incredibly tense sequence. Popping in and out of tight clinches, the Impala takes a real hammering right up until the pivotal moment. Petersen’s agent roars down a speeding highway in the wrong direction, darting in and out of traffic, for a heart-pounding viewing experience. This was achieved via a basic reversal technique in the editing suite, meaning that while none of the actors were in danger, the audience still watches through the prison bars of their fingers.

Release Date: November 1st, 1985 | Director: William Friedkin | Domestic Box Office: $17 million

Sequence Length: 5:00 | Location: Los Angeles

Featured Cars: Chevrolet Impala | Noted Actors: William Petersen | Youtube Views: 83, 039


GOAT Staff Score - Car Chase Scene

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Driving (30%)Visual Style (25%)Originality (20%)Cars (15%)Critical Reception (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
Bullitt9866938810
Vanishing Point106710134730
Matrix Reloaded41095230665
Death Proof1958528605
The Driver2749830590
The French Connection751031035580
Ronin6422620450
Gone In Sixty Seconds8187327420
The Bourne Identity5231718325
To Live And Die In L.A.3314415325

GOAT Verdict:

Bullitt features the Greatest Car Chase Scene of All Time
Sweeping up in the weightiest categories, it may come as no surprise that the Greatest Film Car Chase Of All Time is Steve McQueen’s dash around San Francisco in Bullitt. David Yates’ film as a whole is a captivating detective actioner, thronging with solid performances from all of the cast, but it’s McQueen as the titular hero Frank Bullitt who steals the pic. The heroics and gutsy cool he displays throughout are never more winning than when he’s behind the wheel. The moment in question is an awe-inspiring sequence, made all the more exhilarating by stunt driver Carey Loftlin’s slamming driving skills. With a daredevil coursing through the veins of the city, any risque car tricks you’ve ever dreamed of doing suddenly seem possible. One of which is simply putting the pedal to the metal, as the rumble around SF’s urban jungle picks up the pace and never lets go. Wheel trims fly, hubcaps pop off and the unmistakable sound of shredding rubber dominates the sensory landscape. Sure, there might be slicker, neater car chases nowadays, with far more ambition that’s easily satisfied with CGI. But if you want a gritty, realistic, and utterly breathtaking chase, accept no substitute.

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What is the greatest heist scene of all time?

1

The Dark Knight

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 120
The Dark Knight

Robbing banks has been a generally accepted pastime of supervillains since the dawn of comic book publication, but almost every attempt was either foiled or glossed over with cartoon violence. When Christopher Nolan’s Batman series portrayed the Joker’s crack at heist operations, however, all bets were off. Even from the first shots, the robbery shows a level of tactical coordination and efficiency that most conventional heist films lack. The thugs manage to wear clown masks that somehow come off as plausible, and the Joker himself is shuffled into the ranks of the thieves, demonstrating his cunning and ruthlessness in a single sweep as he pits the team against one another. This scene has everything that a well-done heist needs – action, suspense, some gunplay, and a getaway that won’t be leaving the record books anytime soon.

Release: 2008 | Director: Christopher Nolan | Budget: $185 mm | Key Actors: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94% | IMDB Score: 9.0 | Box Office Gross: $1 B

2

Heat

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 110
Heat

With a few money bags and high-powered assault rifles, Heat may have defined the bank robbery genre for decades to come. Michael Mann’s high-octane hit found a strong focal point in its armed robbery scene, which pulls no punches as it heads from the bank’s interior to the crowded city streets, all the while trailing the “heroes” of the attempt. A full team of robbers, spanning from Val Kilmer to Robert DeNiro, keep the camera constantly moving and panning between operatives, further amplifying the sense of chaos that accompanies the heist. In the urban escape portion, the echoes of gunfire – which were captured using blank rounds and not altered using dubbing – fill the streets with bold, deafening cracks, and grant Heat a sense of unparalleled realism. This guns-blazing approach to bank robberies would later influence the video game series Payday, and live on in the minds of action film fanatics everywhere.

Release: 1995 | Director: Michael Mann | Budget: $60 mm | Key Actors: Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Val Kilmer

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86% | IMDB Score: 8.3 | Box Office Gross: $187.4 mm

3

The Town

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 115
The Town

For a film that deals with a string of robberies, it helps to be specific. While the earlier heists are generally pulled off without a hitch (and with the help of some very strange masks), the ensuing operations of the Boston-based gang are met with less success, but more entertainment. The armored truck robbery in The Town is memorable for a variety of reasons, but it generally owes its pulse-pounding atmosphere and sense of frenetic energy to the heist’s catastrophic failure. Ben Affleck’s surprisingly masterful directing lent a sense of desperation to the van chase, folding the architecture of Charlestown, Massachusetts into a narrow and dizzying labyrinth that seemed equally dangerous for both the criminals and law enforcement. Bleak colors, stylish violence, and the scramble for survival make The Town one of the most unique and nail-biting heist sequences ever filmed.

Release: 2010 | Director: Ben Affleck | Budget: $37 mm | Key Actors: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94% | IMDB Score: 7.6 | Box Office Gross: $154 mm

4

The Dark Knight Rises

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 106
The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan has never tried to hide his obsession with dramatic action sequences, and with the several million dollars he was given for The Dark Knight Rises, this is especially evident. Bane, the terrifying mass of brains and brawn played by Tom Hardy, takes on a stock exchange with the same bold and violent energy that defined him in the film’s midair opening sequence. Nolan makes careful use of his oversized set, banks of spark-producing assemblies, and low camera angles to create a gripping and surprisingly intimate moment of terror. Tracking shots linger on the width of Bane’s back, while synthesized vocal elements give the villain an otherworldly and even robotic aspect. Nolan used Bane as a fulcrum for the entire heist scene, balancing the dread of the moment around Tom Hardy’s monologues and brutality with his own trademark style.

Release: 2012 | Director: Christopher Nolan | Budget: $230 mm | Key Actors: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88% | IMDB Score: 8.6 | Box Office Gross: $1 B

5

The Place Beyond the Pines

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 123
The Place Beyond the Pines

Most bank robberies are carried out with a full team at the mastermind’s back, but The Place Beyond the Pines cuts out the excess and strips the heist down to its core: a motorcycle-riding gunman with a penchant for screaming and climbing onto countertops. Ryan Gosling’s character is the opposite of his role in Drive, fixated on aggression and demonstrating a fundamental lack of control at every turn. Everything about this scene exudes anger and instability, including its minimalist soundtrack and muted color palette. The tracking shots lead into shaky, sweeping views of the bank lobby, and at times, the camera gives the impression of struggling to even keep up with the gunman. Not every heist goes to plan, but The Place Beyond the Pines is proof that even successful heists can put a knot in your stomach.

Release: 2012 | Director: Derek Cianfrance | Budget: $15 mm | Key Actors: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80% | IMDB Score: 7.4 | Box Office Gross: $35.5 mm

6

Reservoir Dogs

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 128
Reservoir Dogs

There’s always an unmistakable sense of style and strangeness to a Tarantino film, and Reservoir Dogs is no exception. While the film may not put a spotlight on the actual moment of the robbery, Mr. Pink’s gun-toting, suit-sprinting, car-dodging escape from the jewelry shop is one of the most bizarre getaway scenes in cinematic history, and succeeds in capturing the frantic energy of a heist. Or, in this case, a heist gone wrong. The scene makes use of several tracking shots with minimal stabilization, as well as borderline slapstick close-ups of the officers in pursuit. The absence of a musical score only highlights the staccato rhythm of shoes on pavement, and the distant drone of police sirens. Mr. Pink’s mad dash to acquire his escape vehicle – and the over-the-shoulder, handheld filming technique while inside the car – cements this Reservoir Dogs scene in heist history.

Release: 1992 | Director: Quentin Tarantino | Budget: $1.2 mm | Key Actors: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92% | IMDB Score: 8.4 | Box Office Gross: $4 mm

7

Inside Man

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 107
Inside Man

In the world of heist planning, there are two distinct schools of thought: the Trojan horse approach, or the shoot-into-the-ceiling approach. Inside Man mixes and matches with these tactics, but leans heavily on the former concept, entering the building under the auspices of a cleaning crew with janitorial garb. When the levy breaks and Clive Owen begins to bark commands, however, the latter school of thought comes down like a sledgehammer. Inside Man portrays a remarkably clean and surgical approach to the seizure of a bank, and Clive Owen’s reliance upon tricks such as false accents and smoke canisters only reinforces his role as a true professional. Another fantastic element in Inside Man’s heist presentation is Clive Owen’s confrontation with a patrolling officer, which begins with a revolver being aimed through a crack in the bank’s doors. When it comes to loud and fast heists done properly, Inside Man is a prime contender.

Release: 2006 | Director: Spike Lee | Budget: $45 mm | Key Actors: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86% | IMDB Score: 7.7 | Box Office Gross: $184.3 mm

8

Public Enemies

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 107
Public Enemies

It’s impossible to discuss heist films without taking a step back to examine old-school robberies. Public Enemies puts the spotlight on the notorious gangster, John Dillinger, and his exploits in the field of bank robberies. Johnny Depp wears the long coat and fedora as well as anybody from Dillinger’s heyday, and the overt, Thompson-wielding seizure of the bank – done in defiance of both alarms and approaching policemen – remains true to Dillinger’s character. No detail was spared in recreating the lives of these gangsters and their assaults, and this is especially evident in the film’s first bank robbery. Depp gives the gangster an air of style and unique (albeit warped) philosophy, assuring the hostages that his band is not after their money, but the money of the bank. The period costuming and brisk pace of the getaway shootout give Public Enemies a rightful leg up in the competition.

Release: 2009 | Director: Michael Mann | Budget: $100 mm | Key Actors: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69% | IMDB Score: 7.0 | Box Office Gross: $214.1 mm

9

Drive

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 98
Drive

As the nameless driver (played by Ryan Gosling) tells the two balaclava-wearing thieves before the heist, “I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours.” Five minutes, in edited film time, is all Ryan Gosling needs to prove that a good heist scene doesn’t require rappelling ropes or explosives. In fact, it doesn’t even require footage of the actual heist. The driver’s true talent is his cold and calculated strategy for getaways, which requires an unassuming speed, a police radio scanner, and a handy supply of toothpicks. In one of the slowest getaway scenes in cinematic history, Ryan Gosling ferries the criminals by blending into the nocturnal L.A. traffic, and defines his character without ever saying more than two words. Drive feeds

on the tension and understated danger of its crime world, fueled by a 1980s-esque electronic soundtrack and a silver Chevy Impala.

Release: 2011 | Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Budget: $15 mm | Key Actors: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93% | IMDB Score: 7.8 | Box Office Gross: $76.1 mm

10

Dog Day Afternoon

Nov 18, 2014 - youtube.com - 92
Dog Day Afternoon

Not all heist scenes need to be a maelstrom of violence and automatic gunfire, as evidenced by Al Pacino’s quieter heist film, Dog Day Afternoon (which happens to be based on a true story). With the intention of stealing money for his wife’s gender reassignment surgery, Pacino and his partners only get as far as drawing their guns before the heist begins to go downhill. One partner rapidly backs out, and bouts of diabetic complications or asthma force the robbers to begin releasing their hostages in a steady stream. The scene’s snappy dialogue, lack of background music, and awkward exchanges are what gives Dog Day Afternoon its quirky tone and gallows humor. In just one scene, the film managed to spell out its central predicament and mood, while also molding the framework for one of Hollywood’s most infamous heist-gone-wrong tales.

Release: 1975 | Director: Sidney Lumet | Budget: $1.8 mm | Key Actors: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durnin

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97% | IMDB Score: 8.1 | Box Office Gross: $50 mm


GOAT Staff Score - Heist Scene

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Intensity (30%)Cinematography (25%)Acting (20%)Sound (15%)Special Effects (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
The Dark Knight991091047930
Heat108710944880
The Town8647833655
The Dark Knight Rises41066733650
The Place Beyond the Pines6652524510
Reservoir Dogs7523219440
Inside Man3295423435
Public Enemies5134619355
Drive2418318330
Dog Day Afternoon1381114290

GOAT Verdict:

The Dark Knight Bank Robbery Scene is the Greatest Heist Scene of All Time

When Christopher Nolan set out to craft a sequel to Batman Begins, expectations were already high. What nobody anticipated, however, was just how flawless The Dark Knight would be. The opening sequence in the film, which manages to skirt around Heath Ledger’s Joker long enough to let a sense of mystique and instability take root, succeeds in portraying a heist that’s almost too good to be from a comic book film. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard gave the scene an impeccable score, with its music swelling but never rising to the point of distraction or overstating the tension. The action is fast-moving, fluid, and takes the viewer to every level and stage of the heist, never pausing for too long or defusing the scene’s energy. The true payoff in this scene is the Joker’s reveal and climactic shootout with the bank manager, followed by a truly memorable and brazen escape into Gotham’s traffic in a yellow school bus. The Joker’s heist has it all – menacing gunplay, a highly technical infiltration scheme, and an unforgettable introduction by one of cinema’s most recent “classic” villains. When it comes to the greatest heist scene of all time, The Dark Knight steals the crown.

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