The Bank Job

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The Bank Job DVD cover

Movie (2008) "R"

Jason Statham (Terry Leather)
Saffron Burrows (Martine Love)
Stephen Campbell Moore (Kevin Swain)
Daniel Mays (Dave Shilling)

The Bank Job is based on a real robbery which was better known then by the name "The Walkie Talkie robbery of 1971". There were really only two brains in the whole bank robbery operation making this job way in over their head. Plus of course they stumbled upon some very dangerous information, which just made the whole thing much more complicated. There were a lot of ways these guys could have done a better job. It probably wasn't a great idea ordering food using real names and having it delivered to the location of the heist. Also there’s a lot of unnecessary talk over the radio. After a scare from the “coppers” the first night of digging, the gang decided to involve one more man. Dave, Terry’s mechanic, joins up and is responsible for being the eyes and ears while the others worked on the tunnel. He keeps planted on the roof as the lookout.

Meanwhile, a local resident and Ham Radio operator (real name Robert Rowlands) overhears them as they continue to talk over their walkie-talkies. He phones the police and let’s them know, “I’m a Ham Radio operator and I think I may be overhearing a robbery in progress.” Most of the police stations believe it to be a hoax, except for one since the Ham Radio operator brought in the recordings he made of the robbers talking. Later on after the vault was emptied, the newspapers started reporting, “London vaults checked after radio ham tunes into a crime".

The ham radio that was used in the film was not the real radio used in the actual witnessing of the robbery. The best shots of the actual radio used in 1971 are available in the special features.

Yaesu FT-101

The Yaesu FT_101.
Yaesu FT-101 closeup that was used for the movie.
Another screenshot of the radio that the Ham operator heard the robbery on in the movie.


Robert Rowlands, the original Ham operator and radio that caught the Walkie Talkie robbery.


The talkative lookout on the roof with his walkie-talkie.
Another shot of Dave on the roof.

See also