Heist and the City: Urban Allegory in Gangster-caper films: The Asphalt Jungle; Rififi; La Cercle Rouge; &Johnny Gaddar

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Dr.Md. Aslam Parwez


The article looks into the sub genre of the gangster film known as the Heist Film. It examines the importance and symbolism inherent within the Heist narrative in fleshing out the terrain of the city. In 1950s, stories involving a heist theme began to develop in gangster films which slowly got interpellated with the noir genre, creating a hybrid of gangster noir. A central element in these films is the undertaking of a single crime of great monetary value carried out with great mathematical precision in a given time-frame. These films with variations on the same theme of a caper or robbery present us with an alternative topography, an alternative community, and an alternative consciousness. The trope of  an organised and calculated heist occurring in crime fiction and film can perhaps be seen in this light as metaphorically evoking the conditions of urban living. The narrative conceit of the genre based on an intensification of the quantified time allegories the experience in everyday life of the metropolis; the trope of the caper and heist presents an inverted view of the ordinary involvement of people in the rhythms of working life

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