We all love a true story - the more shocking the better. These are our favourite crime movies, listed in date order, telling incredible tales of theft and murder... We give you the chance to see clips of the films, but beware they may contain bad language, spoilers and scenes that you may find disturbing.
1. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Based on the story of Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty), a charismatic convicted armed robber who sweeps Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway), an impressionable waitress off her feet. The pair embark on one of most infamous bank-robbing sprees in history. From their meeting in Midlothian, Texas in 1931, they spend three years making headlines for robberies and killings. It all climaxes with their death under a thousand-round rain of bullets in a police ambush near Arcadia in Lousiana.
2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Robert Parker and Harry Longabaugh – better known as Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) are leaders of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. When Butch and Sundance rob one train too many, a special posse trails them no matter where they run. They manage to escape through luck, and Butch suggests going to Bolivia where they steal a payroll and the mules carrying it. A boy recognises the mules’ brand and alerts police – leading to a gunfight. The outlaws hide in a building, but are both badly wounded. Dozens of Bolivian soldiers surround the area, and the film ends with a freeze-frame shot of the pair charging out of the building, guns blazing, before the Bolivian forces open fire…
3. 10 Rillington Place (1971)
The name of the film is taken from the scene of the murders’ address. John Christie (Richard Attenborough) is a seemingly model citizen living in west London during the 40s and 50s. He pretends to have a medical background, lures women to his flat to ‘cure’ them, knocks them out with carbon monoxide and gains sexual release through contact with the unconscious body. Christie then strangles the victim before disposing of the body, usually burying it in his back garden. In 1949, Beryl and Tim Evans move into the top flat. Already with a baby, Beryl finds she’s going to have another baby, which they can’t afford. Christie offers to perform an abortion. Telling Tim it’s gone wrong, Tim helps dispose of the body. Tim’s later hanged for Beryl’s murder, for which he received a posthumous pardon.
4. Midnight Express (1978)
On October 6, 1970, on holiday in Instantbul Turkey, American college student Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) straps 2kg of hashish blocks to his chest. He’s arrested at Istanbul airport and thrown in jail. In prison, Billy bribes a guard into taking him to the sanitarium. Instead, the guard takes Billy to another room – and prepares to rape him. Fighting back, Billy inadvertently kills the guard by pushing him onto a coat hook. He then puts on a guard’s uniform and walks out the front door. In the epilogue it’s explained that – on the night of 4 October 1975 – Billy crossed the border to Greece and arrived home three weeks later.
5. Brubaker (1980)
Henry Brubaker (Robert Redford) is the new inmate at a Southern prison notorious for corruption and violence. After he witnesses misconduct, Brubaker reveals that he’s the new warden, assigned by the governor to infiltrate the facility undercover. When he finds unmarked graves, his attempts to unravel the mystery lead to political scandal. A trustee makes a run for it worried he might be held accountable for killing an inmate. A gunfight ensues in which the trustee is killed and Brubaker is fired by the prison board. A statement before the credits explains that two years after Brubaker was fired, 24 inmates sued the prison. The court ruled that treatment of the prisoners was unconstitutional, the system was reformed and the governor wasn’t re-elected.
6. McVicar (1980)
John McVicar (Roger Daltrey) was an armed bank robber who became Britain’s Public Enemy No1. He was captured and put into Durham Prison’s notorious E-Wing from which he escaped, the only man ever to do so! When he, his wife and young son want to move to Canada to escape his life of crime, McVicar is forced to fund the relocation by returning to crime. He’s recaptured and returns to prison where his sentence is increased. However, during this time McVicar studies for a BSc and is eventually released in 1978.
7. Dance with a Stranger (1985)
Ruth Ellis (Miranda Richardson) is a former prostitute and single mother who falls for David Blakely (Rupert Everett). David comes from an aristocratic background, but the two start an affair. When he makes a drunken scene in the club where she works, Ruth is fired and made homeless. A wealthy admirer secures a flat for her and her son, but she still sees David. She tells David she’s pregnant, but he does nothing and she miscarries. Distraught, she goes to a house where David’s at a party. He comes out and goes with a girl to a pub. Ruth waits outside and, when David emerges, shoots him four times and kills him. Ruth is arrested and tried. On 13 July 1955, Ruth Ellis is hanged and becomes the last woman to be executed by the state in England.
8. Buster (1988)
Buster Edwards (Phil Collins) is part of a gang that robs a London to Glasgow Royal Mail train in 1963. Carrying more cash than they expected, the heist becomes known as The Great Train Robbery. Buster takes his family into hiding in Mexico where their daughter is happy with life in the sunshine. However his wife June (Julie Walters) is unimpressed, and returns to the UK. Buster stays in Acapulco until realising that having money and the sun means nothing without his family. He returns to England to accept his punishment. The film closes 12 years after Buster’s release, showing him running a flower stall near London’s Waterloo Bridge.
9. Catch me if you can (2002)
From before his 19th birthday, Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor and a Louisiana prosecutor. His primary crime was cheque fraud, and he’s pursued by FBI agent, Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks). Despite a lengthy cat-and-mouse-type chase which sees Frank and Carl get close, Frank is jailed for 12 years for passing over $4,000,000 in bad cheques. Frank was so experienced that the FBI sought his help in catching other cheque forgers. At the end, it’s revealed that Frank’s been happily married for 26 years, has three sons, is still friends with Carl and has caught some of the world’s most elusive money forgers.
10. Bronson (2008)
Born into a respectable family, Michael Peterson (Thomas Hardy) would go on to become one of the UK’s most-dangerous criminals. In 1974, 19-year-old Peterson attempted to rob a post office with a homemade sawn-off shotgun to make a name for himself. Originally sentenced to seven years in jail, Peterson has been behind bars for 43 years, most of which have been spent in solitary confinement. This surreal film is narrated by Hardy, which, despite gruesome scenes, blurs the line between comedy and horror.
11. London Road (2015)
This is unlike any serial killer film you’ve ever seen! With a cast including Olivia Colman and Anita Dobson this musical (yes, musical!) documents true murderous events. In Ipswich in 2006. five women’s bodies were discovered and local man Steve Wright is convicted of killing them. The community use their own words, set to a unique musical score, to tell the moving story how they came together during the darkest of experiences. The London Road stage production was a hit when it premiered at the National Theatre in 2011. It returned to the stage in 2012 for a sold-out run and prompted the making of this movie.
What real-life crime movie is your favourite? Let us know below…