The Big Heist
|The Big Heist|
by Ernest Volkman
|Directed by||Robert Markowitz|
|Theme music composer||Lou Pomanti|
|Country of origin||
|Running time||92 min|
Gary Hoffman Prod.
|Original network||A&E Network|
Based on the 1986 book The Heist: How a Gang Stole $8,000,000 at Kennedy Airport and Lived to Regret It, the film tells the story about the 1978 Lufthansa Heist. The heist was also the subject of the much better-known 1990 film Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese, and of the 1991 made-for-television film, The 10 Million Dollar Getaway.
- Donald Sutherland as Jimmy Burke
- John Heard as Richard Woods
- Jamie Harris as Frankie Burke
- Janet Kidder as Maria
- Nick Sandow as Henry Hill
- Michael P. Moran as Louis the Whale, inspired by Louis Cafora
- Joe Pingue as Marty Krugman
- Bo Rucker as Parnell "Stacks" Edwards
- Rocco Sisto as Tommy DeSimone
- Robert Morelli as Angelo Sepe
- Joe Maruzzo as Paolo Falcone, inspired by Paolo LiCastri
- Gino Marrocco as Paulie Vario
- Sam Coppola as Paul Castellano
- Steven Randazzo as John Gotti
- Craig Eldridge as Agent Billings
Although the movie correctly depicts the Lufthansa Heist, showing Jimmy Burke as the leader of a crew linked to Paulie Vario, the crew wasn't part of the Gambino family as depicted, but rather was a large part of the Lucchese crime family, and the robbery brought a large quantity of funding for Tony Corallo.
Although Burke did have connections with John Gotti, Gotti was never involved with the Lufthansa Heist nor did he want to be a part of it. According to a rumour, on an FBI wire tap from the 1980s years after the original heist, Gotti was heard to say to underboss and his capo Aniello Dellacroce: "I didn't want any part of that shit that Burke and those other fucks pulled. Only micks would do something crazy like this. Micks are fucking crazy; end of fucking statement". It was also alleged by Hill, in Hill's book The Lufthansa Heist that John Gotti personally killed Tommy DeSimone, a member of the actual stick-up crew. In another mistake film makes, Henry Hill is shown in one scene as having fallen asleep alongside a male and female prostitute, after having used a large quantity of cocaine. This implied bisexuality of Hill's was a falsehood. Hill was happily married (although he'd had two different affairs - both with women), and if the accusations had been true it would have been Jimmy Burke's duty to have killed Hill; homosexual acts were seen as going against the mob's rules.
- Volkman, Ernest & Cummings, John (October 1986). The Heist: How a Gang Stole $8,000,000 at Kennedy Airport and Lived to Regret It (1st; Hardcover ed.). Franklin Watts. ISBN 978-0531150245.
- "Movies: The 10 Million Dollar Getaway". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Simon, Daniel & Hill, Henry (Aug 1, 2015). The Lufthansa Heist (1st ed.). Rowman & Little head. ISBN 9781493018963.
- Younge, Gary (May 1, 2003). "Mob Boss Rubbed Out For 'Being Gay'". The Guardian. New York.