About The Story
Nobody gets the goods like veteran con artist Joe Moore. Unflappable, unfazed and cool in the face of intense heat and extreme pressure, Joe is a master at the art of theft, deception and verbal sleight-of-hand. As fellow con man and crew member Don Pincus describes Joe in the film: "He's so cool, when he goes to bed, sheep count him."
Besides innate talent and experience, the key to Joe's success is preparation. "Anybody can get the goods," Joe quips. "Hard part's getting away."
And, as Joe will discover, it's not only a challenge to get away with the
crime... but getting away from a life of crime will require all of his considerable skills and tenacity. When this heist goes down, Joe's going to need more than one Plan B to make his getaway.
"Joe is a clever guy who loves the game as much as he loves the fact that he's stealing money," Oscar-winning actor Gene Hackman says of his character. "He's the kind of full-of-life character that maybe we'd all like to have a bit of in ourselves."
Rebecca Pidgeon, best known for her work in David Mamet's films State and Main, The Spanish Prisoner and The Winslow Boy, plays Fran, Joe's wife and the sole female member of his team. "Joe is the king, the hero, the brain, the mastermind behind the heists," Pidgeon explains. "He's enigmatic and he's very appealing."
And he's smart enough to surround himself with a talented cabal of thieves like Fran, a chameleon who is as cunning and reliable as her beauty is disarming. "She's a dangerous girl," Pidgeon cautions. Why? Because, as Joe puts it, "She could talk her way out of a
Like Joe, Fran instinctively reads situations and does whatever it takes to circumvent trouble... even if that requires her to "suit up" — to shadow a shady business partner with her special brand of surveillance — or step in front of a moving car, which Joe's colleague Don Pincus does at one point to buy time for the crew.
"That move is an old con called the 'flopper and diver racket,"' says Ricky
Jay the slight-of-hand artist and actor who, in addition to playing Pincus in Heist, has appeared in David Mamet's films House of Games, Things Change, Homicide, The Spanish Prisoner and
State and Main. "It was an old con played among the lower school of swindlers who would actually allow themselves to be hit by cars to make insurance money."
ln addition to Pincus, Joel s crew is rounded out by his longtime colleague Bobby
Blane, played by acclaimed actor Deiroy Lindo. Joe wouldn't think of pulling a
job without Blane aboard for the ride. "That Joe and Bobby seem to communicate with a certain kind of shorthand," says
Lindo, known for his indelible roles in The Cider House Rules and Get Shorty, "bespeaks a depth of friendship."
"Because of his age, Joe is beginning to be looked over, but he's still able to do the job," Hackman says. "He puts together a very good band of cohorts and co-conspirators, some very sharp individuals who are prepared for pretty much any eventuality, and they pull these heists with a minimum of violence."
That is, until a carefully-orchestrated robbery goes slightly awry. Joe and his crew are quietly overtaking a jewelry store in broad daylight when a young female clerk unwittingly disrupts the proceedings. Pincus pulls a gun, but in order to get near the girl without her making a fuss — which might necessitate her being shot — Joe waves him off and makes the fateful decision to remove his mask.
In rendering the girl unconscious, Joe spares her life... and commits his face to surveillance video. The rest of the job goes off without a hitch, but now that Joe's visage has been "burned" on video tape, he figures it
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