The Bank Job (2008)
Frequently Asked Questions
The Bank Job was taken from a screenplay written by British television writing partners Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and based on a 1971 true-life robbery of a bank in Baker Street, London.
The movie is a speculative look at real events. There really was a robbery at the Lloyds branch on Baker Street with many of the broad details being true. The thieves did tunnel into the vault from Le Sac and really were overheard by an amateur radio operator. Michael X was a real black power activist who had a number of run ins with the law including the one depicted in the film where he forced a landlord whom he accused of extortion, to wear a slave collar. Gail Benson was a real person who was romantically involved with black activist Hakim Jamal. She was murdered by Michael X. Much of the details of the crime are invented for the movie, however. The idea that the robbery was commissioned by British intelligence to retrieve incriminating royal photos is speculative. Also speculative is the reason given in the film for Gail Benson's murder. Her family insists that the idea that she was a spy is "ludicrous". Also, there seems to be some disagreement over whether a D-notice was issued. Some sources say that it was but papers were also reporting on the heist months after it happened. The film also suggests that the robbers were never caught, but some sources suggest that they were in fact arrested and convicted.
That part of the film is speculation. There is no evidence to suggest these photos ever existed or that the events they depicted ever happened.