In an article from The Washington Post, Georgetown law professor and former bank robber, Shon Hopwood, describes what it was like to see his former profession play out on screen, in the Al Pacino/Robert DeNiro gangster flick, Heat:
“Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight and a whole bunch of other characters are a group of professional thieves, and it all leads to a bank robbery and shootout. The big bank robbery scene in downtown L.A. is just sprawling. They must have blocked off half the city. But no heist movies are like real life. They glamorize robbing banks and then 20-year-olds like me in the 1990s watch and think it’s a glamorous lifestyle.”
Movies can be motivate us, it is likely that Indiana Jones has inspired folks to become archeologists, and that Top Gun was a great recruiting tool for the U.S. Navy. Unfortunately, sometimes the motivation leads to bad ideas that were romanticized in films, such as bank robbery, or the gangster life in general.
Hopwood’s life story would make a great movie in itself. Hopwood pled guilty to bank robbery in 1998 and was sentenced to 12 years. While serving time, Hopwood became a popular around the prison and was known for preparing documents for other prisoners. Hopwood was released form prison in 2009, and by 2015 had became a licensed lawyer in Washington state.
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Source: The Washington Post