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The Bank Job in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Bank Job

THE STARS:
Jason Statham • Saffron Burrows • Richard Lintern
DIRECTOR: Roger Donaldson

Roger Donaldson and Jason Statham THE CONCEPT:
Inspired by an infamous 1971 robbery that took place at the Lloyds Bank in Marylebone, London.
A car dealer with a dodgy past, Terry (Statham) has always avoided major-league scams, but when Martine (Burrows) offers him a lead on a foolproof bank heist he agrees to participate. The repercussions will involve not only members of the British government, but the Royal Family…

U.S. RELEASE: March 7 2008, Nationwide • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

ROGER DONALDSON:
“I was attracted to the fact that it’s inspired by real people and real events. I enjoy taking a look at what makes society tick. I love the research. That’s one of the things I really do embroil myself in. I finished up going to the newspapers of the time, to the national archives, digging up facts that have not seen the light of day since they happened in 1971.”

JASON STATHAM:
“My parents couldn’t remember much about the robbery. There were three days of exposure and then it was hush-hush. There was a blanket put upon the press. So unless you were around, reading the papers on those particular three days, you wouldn’t have heard much about it. I had never heard of a "D-Notice" [defense notice] until Roger told me about what the implications of one of those were.”

DONALDSON:
“The D-Notices are meant to secure the interests of national security in the UK, once you start talking about the official secret’s act things get very muddy and it’s very difficult to get to the bottom of what’s really happening, how it happened, or what happened. All I do know is that a few days after this was the headline in the newspapers, I went through every newspaper and suddenly it had disappeared completely. I do believe they got away with the biggest robbery in British history.”

CHARLES ROVEN (Producer):
“We certainly may have moved around the actual timing of some events, and we maybe compressed some characters or expanded some characters, but the events of the robbery and the events of what went on criminally, culturally in the UK and particularly in London at that time, is really what we found.”

SAFFRON BURROWS:
“Martine Love is, in a sense, like me in many ways. She and Terry [Statham’s character] have this history together, which I like in a way that it’s quite undefined and the writers haven’t chosen to nail down entirely what their history is.”

DONALDSON:
“I personally spoke to one of the [actual robbers], and it was like meeting Jason Statham at seventy-five. Honestly, it was like I knew the guy and went out and cast Jason. It was uncanny, he had the same accent, he looked like him, he was the same height, it was incredible. But he really didn’t have anything to tell us that we didn’t already know.”

STATHAM:
“He was walking about the set, we were told that we were not supposed to say who he was, and people said to me, ‘Who’s that guy that you were talking to? It’s not your dad, is it?’ I tried to pick his brains as much as possible, but you don’t want to be like, ‘So tell me, how many years did he get, and did he get nicked? What did you steal? Where are all the jewels?’ You don’t want to go down that line and behave like an imbecile. I think he’ll be at the premiere, it’ll be nice to see him covertly, might be in a disguise.”

DONALDSON:
“I managed to discover all the police photographs, evidence photographs, pictures of what it looked like, and that’s what we used in recreating the places. I went to the shop that they’d taken over and burrowed in from, and as it turned out it was empty. I found the owner and he let me go down into the basement of it, and everything looked as though it was the day it had happened, except there was a wooden floor over the concrete floor. But on the edges of it you could see where the concrete floor was, and I’m sure if you’d lifted this wooden floor up there would be the area where they’d dug down through the floor.”

STATHAM:
“Every time I find a non-fighting movie, they always write a fighting scene in. I think this movie always had a moment of violence towards the end because there’s so much at stake. And I think people want to see this guy get kicked on the floor and bashed. It’s a good payoff. Although I wanted to do a movie without throwing a fist or a kick, I think it warrants a happening at that particular time; although I’m still looking for that complete romantic comedy where I don’t hit anybody. One day!”

 Jason Statham

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Lionsgate
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #694, April 2008 cover

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