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On 28 February 1997, two men heavily armed with AK-47 try to heist the Bank of America of North Hollywood, but their plan fails and they are kept under siege by the LAPD. Along forty-four minutes, Los Angeles witnesses live on television one of the greatest shoot-out of the American history. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Scenes on the residential streets where the robbers tried escaping from the bank were filmed on the actual locations behind the real bank. See more »
In several frontal shots of the robbers firing their AK 47 assault rifles, the weapons are shown as having a circular muzzle flash. In reality, AK 47s without silencers or flash suppressors (not seen in the movie) have a bow-tie shaped muzzle flash. See more »
Since I was only about two miles away from the real shootout and saw the footage on the news about 100 times, I was quite interested in seeing the movie to see how accurately it would depict the real event. The film was not only accurate (with very few exceptions) but it was also riveting (with the shootout edited together with documentary-style testimonials from the policemen characters) and peppered with some FX-style swearing and graphic moments. Of the actors, Michael Madsen and Mario Van Peebles were the best (and most well known) and Ron Livingston was good too, but seemed a bit out of place as a hard-edged, SWAT team member. Interesting tidbits were that the gunmen's full names were never mentioned (one was referred to as Larry a few times, but nothing else) and the gunmen characters looked nothing like the real gunmen (the wrong one had long hair and one of the real guys was about 100 pounds heavier than the other). Also, Michael Madsen, who is often confused with Tom Sizemore, who was in the 1995 film Heat, brings up Al Pacino's character from Heat in one of his testimonials. Heat is often mentioned in the same breath as the real North Hollywood incident, because of the similar shootouts and the fact that the real gunmen used the movie as an informal training video for robbing banks. The real gunmen also were nicknamed the 'High Incident Bandits' and the shootout was also the basis for the final episode of the 1996-97 ABC cop show 'High Incident' starring Blair Underwood. Good film.
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