The Cultural Allure of Bank Robbers

Banks make really good bad guys. As cinema has shuffled through a lineup of antagonists including Nazis, Russians, clowns, and robots, banks have had remarkable staying power as one of Hollywood’s truly unambiguous forces for evil. The status of financial institutions as villains is backed up by society: people don’t trust them. Even when bankers are the primary characters in movies, as they are in Wall Street and The Wolf of Wall Street, we watch and await their inevitable schadenfreudian demise.

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