Ode to Steve McQueen

By Olivia Ayres

Do you know about the biggest bank heist in US history? It took place in 1972 and targeted $30 million! Finding Steve McQueen is an exciting, often comedic, and quirky film based on this true story, find out more in Ode to Steve McQueen and also find out why this movie checks the great film star’s name. 

This new film takes us on a journey with the character Harry Barber from pre-heist to post-heist as he retells it in a quaint cafe to his girlfriend.

However, the most prominent theme in this tale is not the heist itself, but Barber’s fascination with the actor Steve McQueen. Within the first eight minutes of the film, we see Harry Barber breaking the fourth wall to respond to a police officer asking his name, he then replies ‘Steve McQueen’.

As the film progresses, we begin to understand Barber’s character more, even relating to his strong admiration of McQueen (we’ve all been there), but what stands out the most about his peculiar disposition is his child-like demeanour and the way he uses Steven McQueen as a sort of alter-ego, creating this feeling of endearment towards him throughout. At one point he even admits to dying and curling his hair to look like McQueen himself!

Harry says “ ‘cause whenever it got bad, I got really scared, I would pretend I was someone else. Someone who could keep their cool no matter what, even if the cops showed up.”

His girlfriend “Let me guess-”

Police officer “-Steve McQueen.

Finding Steve McQueen is a captivating watch from the very beginning as much an ode to the ‘anti-hero’ actor as much as a heist film.

The original icon actor Steve McQueen was nicknamed the ‘King of Cool’, and was best known for his appearances in cult to mainstream films like The Sand Pebbles, The Thomas Crown Affair and Bullitt. He had a real love for sports cars was an avid motorcycle and race car enthusiast. When he had the opportunity to drive in a movie, he performed many of his own stunts, including some of the car chases in Bullitt. By 1974, McQueen became the highest-paid movie star in the world earning $14 million, by 1980 he had sadly died at the relatively young age of 50 following surgery to remove a tumour. Often playing anti-heroes he was a much loved much in-demand actor because of his popularity but did have a reputation for being difficult

Overall Finding Steve McQueen succeeds in its main character channelling the ‘King of Cool’ which is arguably what kept Harry Barber out of the governments grasps for some time. Whatever your thoughts are on Nixon, heists, or 1960s/70s movie stars, you will instantly fall in love with Harry Barber.

Watch the trailer for Finding Steve McQueen here

Alternatively, purchase Finding Steve McQueen here

If you enjoyed reading An ode to Steve McQueen, why not read Village to Door here

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