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Film / Let's Rob the Bank

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"That's it!!! We'll do it (...) a hold up!!!"
Victor Garnier (deciding to follow the priest advice on "taking back your belonging in order to save a thief soul")

Let's Rob the Bank (Faites sautez la banque !) is a 1964 French heist comedy film.

Victor Garnier (Louis de Funès) is an humble hunting and fishing Shopkeeper and a father of three. Victim of a 419 Scam by the neighboring banker, Durand-Mareuil (Jean-Pierre Marielle), he wants revenge and plots an holp-up of the bank by digging a tunnel underneath: aided by his wife Eliane, his son Gérard and his two daughters Isabelle and Corinne, they start to build the tunnel the but things don't go has planned...


Faites sautez la banque ! provides examples of:

  • 419 Scam: Victor Garnier is convinced by his Banker, André-Hugues Durand Maureuil, to place all his economies on a promising stock but after they are nationalized, they become worthless.
    Victor Garnier: That bastard of Durand Maureuil was knowing the "Tangana" stock will be nationalized... He has abused the trust of a good man like me!
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Corinne annoys her older sister Isabelle when Isabelle flirts with Philippe. (For example she starts playing the violin when they are talking together.)
  • Bookends: The movie starts with the Hunting and Fishing store's metal curtain opening up. It ends with the same curtain closing down, with the word "FIN" written on it.
  • The Caper: Parodied. The film is about a normal family carrying out an elaborate plan to rob a bank.
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  • Caper Crew: Victor Garnier is The Leader, Isabelle is the Distraction (she takes advantage of the fact that a bank employee is infatuated with her to get information), Gérard is the Muscle (he digs most of the tunnel) and Corinne is the Mastermind/the Smart Girl (she came up with the idea of digging a tunnel).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Whether André Durand-Mareuil, the bank director, really swindled Victor Garnier or not is left ambiguous, but it is revealed in the end that he steals gold bars from his own strongroom.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Victor Garnier's Fatal Flaw. Since he has no idea on digging a tunnel, he asks suspicious questions to a employee of public works and then accidentally pierce a sewer pipe, a coal stock or even a underground station.
  • Double-Meaning Title: One that is Lost in Translation. In French, "Faites sautez la banque" is a saying for gaining big money in a place like a casino. Here, however, it becomes a Literal Metaphor with an actual bank robbing.
  • Family Man: Victor Garnier has his wife Éliane, his son Gérard and his two daughter Isabelle and Corinne. While he initially wants to do the robbery for himself, there is a brief scene showing that deep down, he also genuinely cares for his family
    Victor Garnier: Too late... It's over... In a few minutes, we are busted! Éliane... go prepare my suitcase and don't forget my blanket, the jailhouse can get pretty cold in the winter.
    [Éliane leaves slobbering and crying]
    Victor: [to his children] My children... be strong... our cause doesn't seem just... [to Gérard] Keep an eye on them, my son! Hide the treasures in hopes my sacrifice hasn't been for nothing... at least I'll know you will be fine.
  • Imagine Spot: When Victor Garnier is describing what he thinks Durand-Mareuil is doing with their money, we see an imaginary sequence of the corrupt banker literally throwing money away on a car, fancy diner, or expensive clothes for his mistress. And apparently, the rest of the family see it too.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Corinne Garnier (Catherine Demongeot), the youngest daughter, never loses an occasion to mock her siblings. Up to sarcastically playing the violin while her older sister is flirting.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: When his wife and kids are forced to go to a burial, his neighbors believe he has killed them for life insurance: a cop nearly discovers their tunnel but they manage to come back just in time.
  • Papa Wolf: When Victor's son is accidentally buried under tons of coal, he frantically calls his name and search him:
    Victor Garnier: [seeing the coal] What the hell is this? [sees someone trying to get out] Gérard? GÉRARD! My son! My child! Come here! [after freeing him] How are you?
    Gérard Garnier: Why in the hell didn't you install the heating with gas?
  • Shopkeeper: Victor Garnier is the owner of a Hunting and Fishing store. He briefly muses on using his guns to attack the bank but his youngest daughter, Corinne, estimate there is a 70% of failure.


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