Was The Movie "The Town" Based On A True Story?

The problem with “based on a true story” / The Dissolve
The problem with “based on a true story” / The Dissolve from thedissolve.com

The Plot of “The Town”

“The Town” is a 2010 crime thriller that tells the story of a group of bank robbers from Charlestown, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. The leader of the group, Doug MacRay, falls in love with a bank manager named Claire Keesey, who was taken hostage during one of their robberies. As the FBI starts to investigate, the group plans their next heist while trying to evade the authorities.

The Inspiration Behind “The Town”

The movie is based on the novel “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan. Hogan, who grew up in Charlestown, was inspired by the real-life bank robberies that took place in the neighborhood during the 1990s. Charlestown was known as the “bank robbery capital of America” at the time, with an average of one bank heist per month.

The Real-Life Bank Robberies in Charlestown

The bank robberies in Charlestown were known for their violence and sophistication. The robbers would often wear disguises and use assault rifles to intimidate their victims. They would also carefully plan their escape routes and use stolen cars to avoid detection. One of the most infamous robberies in Charlestown took place in 1995, when a group of robbers stole $1.6 million from a Shawmut Bank. The robbers were eventually caught and sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

The Accuracy of “The Town”

While “The Town” is not a direct adaptation of any specific real-life bank robbery in Charlestown, the movie does draw inspiration from the events that took place in the neighborhood during the 1990s. The movie’s portrayal of the violent and sophisticated bank robberies in Charlestown is generally accurate. However, the movie takes some liberties with the details of the robberies and the characters involved. For example, the character of Doug MacRay is a composite of several real-life bank robbers from Charlestown.

The Impact of “The Town”

“The Town” was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $150 million worldwide. The movie helped to further popularize the genre of crime thrillers and cemented Ben Affleck’s reputation as a talented director. The movie also brought renewed attention to the bank robberies in Charlestown and their impact on the neighborhood. Many residents of Charlestown were unhappy with the negative portrayal of their community in the movie, arguing that it did not accurately reflect the neighborhood’s history and culture.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while “The Town” is not a direct adaptation of any specific real-life bank robbery in Charlestown, the movie is based on the events that took place in the neighborhood during the 1990s. The movie’s portrayal of the violence and sophistication of the bank robberies in Charlestown is generally accurate, but the movie takes some liberties with the details of the robberies and the characters involved. Overall, “The Town” is a compelling crime thriller that draws inspiration from real-life events and has had a significant impact on popular culture.

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