Caught on Camera: 4 Heist Film Plots Ruined by Modern Technology

For years, heist movies stole audiences’ hearts. The cinematic blueprint has led to countless blockbusters and created a cult following, with shows like Rick and Morty even mocking the format in the episode The Heist. 

The question remains: just how realistic are the plotlines with today’s technology? Have we seen the end of The Heist? 

Currys explored top four heist films that wouldn’t work today. Busted! 

1. “Snatch” (2000) wouldn’t happen if there were security cameras 

Brad Pitt’s character, Mickey O’Neil, faces unexpected chaos when a gipsy camp escapee Staffordshire Bull Terrier swallows a priceless diamond stolen by Orthodox Jewish-dressed Russian mobsters. The entire debacle of entwining plots could have easily been avoided if Cousin Avi had installed smart security cameras; the heist’s madcap journey could have been tracked in real-time, sparing Daisy the dog and the crooks a lot of trouble.  

Less guns and more smartphones would have left a much less dire state of affairs, but equally as boring a plot. 

2. “The Great Train Robbery” (1903) wouldn’t be so great with CCTV 

The silent short from 1903 is referred to as the original heist movie, which for the uninitiated, features a gang of bandits who loot a train and its passengers. They’re eventually caught. The Western shootout themes that resonate throughout would never have reached their culmination if train stations had adequate CCTV or, moreover, the passengers had smartphones. It wouldn’t take Batman to foil this one in the 21st Century. 

3. “Die Hard with a Vengeance” (1995), no vengeance with a smart alarm, camera or doorbell 

The audacious $140 billion gold bullion robbery at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is listed as the biggest on-screen heist of all time. This would have been a tricky one; however, the use of smart alarms, cameras, and doorbells might have exposed Simon Gruber’s plans. The use of metadata to track and analyse the robbers movements alongside more stringent surveillance across the US would have made this heist significantly more difficult for our antagonist.  

4. “The Ladykillers” (1955), no plot if they had a smartphone

The cheeky Cockney Harry Robinson and his nefarious pals would have a rough time covering up their dastardly plot to rob poor Mrs Wilberforce. By opting for a ring doorbell and smart security system, along a smartphone, she could have gotten a good ol’ look at Harry before answering the door to her own demise. 

The trend is clear. It might be the end of the heist era, and it’s demise afterall was simply what we consider mundane household  innovations. From our telephones to ring lights, a heist is certainly more difficult to pull off in 2024.