Welcome to Felons on Film, a bi-weekly podcast presented by Geek Hard that looks at films based on real life crimes. Join hosts Andrew Young and Elspeth McRobb as they see what happens when true crime meets artistic license and explore murder and thievery on the silver screen.

In our first episode, Andrew and Elspeth take a look at American Animals, a heist film directed Bart Layton. It’s A documentary/narrative film hybrid based on a robbery gone wrong. The movie is best summed up in a Vulture article dated June 1st, 2018:

Near semester’s end in December 2004, four Kentucky college students — and one dropout — staged perhaps the most stunningly inept art heist in the history of art heists. Inspired by a love of heist movies such as Ocean’s 11 and Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, and compelled to action less by the quest for cash than an urge to escape the suburban torpor of their privileged upbringings, the novice criminals — Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk, and Chas Allen II — hatched an elaborate scheme to steal four double-sized folios of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, some of the world’s rarest and most valuable books, from the Special Collections Library at Transylvania University.

The Real-life Heist Caper Behind American Animals by Chris Lee

Sporting an ensemble cast featuring Evan Peters, the film did well on the festival circuit and was considered a success. But was the film accurate in its portrayal of the heist? Listen as Andrew and Elspeth dissect this library larceny and give their honest opinions on the film. Was it a crime to remember or a film to forget? Find out on the first episode of Felons on Film!

Did you enjoy American Animals? Let us know in the comments. You can also send an email to geekhardshow@gmail.com with “Felons On Film” in the subject line with your thoughts or suggestions. We’ll even read it in an upcoming episode. We’d love to hear from you. Support us on Patreon.

If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!