A semi-fictional account, including most of the names of the players being changed, of the event that resulted in the creation of the term Stockholm Syndrome to describe people who feel empathy and sometimes more for their captor(s) is presented. In 1973, a lone armed man, thought to be American, storms the downtown Stockholm branch of Kreditbanken. Ultimately the authorities, led by Chief of Police Mattsson learn of his at-gunpoint demand: $1 million US, the release of convicted bank robber and murderer Gunnar Sorensson, and a Mustang Boss 302 like the one Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt (1968) as a getaway vehicle for the two of them. By the time Mattsson gets Sorensson to the bank - unknown to the gunman, who is thought to be well known robber Kaj Hansson, Sorenson having made a plea deal with Mattsson for his cooperation against the gunman - there are three hostages at the bank, all the others that were in the bank at the time let go. Arguably the most lucid of the three is bank ...Written by
Thursday, August 23, 1973 was an otherwise ordinary late summer day in Stockholm, Sweden. At 10.03 AM, a masked robber stepped into Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm. It was the beginning of one of the most internationally recognized crimes in history. Waving a sub-machine gun, bank robber Janne Olsson shouted orders in English, telling people in the bank to lie down on the floor, while also firing his gun towards the ceiling. In the commotion, a bank official still managed to reach the button for the silent alarm. See more »
The bank lobby is definitely filmed in the North America rather than in Sweden. The design of telephones, light switches, and door knobs aren't same as in Sweden or Europe. The European telephones prior to the 1990s don't have the letters corresponding to the numbers. The light switches in Sweden and Europe don't use the toggle to lift up or down: instead, they use the flat rocker panels. The European doors (outside the United Kingdom) use the handles rather than knobs. See more »
More laughs than learning in this fictional spin on the events that gave shrinks a new diagnosis
Did you ever wonder about the origin of the psychological condition known as "Stockholm Syndrome"? The title of this rather comical account of a bank robbery turning into a hostage situation telegraphs the answer. Although the script is fictional, it is based on the actual 1973 events that added one term to our vernacular, and one section in pertinent psych texts. Good thing. As this ordeal plays out, it would have been too absurd to make up from whole cloth and successfully pitch to any studio.
Ethan Hawke is the solo robber at the beginning. But instead of grabbing the cash, he keeps a few hostages and demands the release of a prisoner (Mark Strong), among other terms. This goes on for a couple of days with more ups and downs and zany mishaps than one finds in any of Elmore Leonard's delightful comic caper novels or the movies they spawned. Not easy to do, unless you're the Marx Brothers. True to the premise, one of the hostages (Noomi Rapace, looking more prim and uptight than her norm) becomes the first to develop the symptoms. Another novelty is seeing the invariably-bald Strong sport a full head of lanky hair. Not his best look.
The film drags on a bit too long for the claustrophobic setting, as nearly every shot we see occurs within the bank. That cost it one of the potential stars, above. Hawke's edginess is amusing for a while, but grows tedious as he loses his cool over so many setbacks and complications. Even so, it's a generally amusing and entertaining diversion. Expect a fairly farcical variation on Dog Day Afternoon to watch it in the right frame of mind.
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