Inside Man

Question: After the robbery and once the dust settled (business was back-to-normal at the bank, etc.) why did the bank president not immediately go to open the safety deposit box and see what happened to its contents? He knew it was the target of the robbery. Reason would dictate that one of the first things he would have done would be to open the box and see what was there... Not leave it to the NYPD to open it and discover a mostly empty box except for the big ring, chewing gum and note.

Answer: The aforementioned answer fails to keep in mind he is the owner of the bank and could've have done this hours before the bank was opened and or hours after the bank was opened. Dalton spent 3 days behind the wall. Mr Case had a special fixer, and she had the mayor in her pocket. It is a reasonable assumption that a billionaire like Aruthur Case would be able to have the contents of his safety deposit box removed with little to no problem. One way is "yes Mr. Mayor I will be giving you a blank check for your reelection campaign." The issue is this was a major plot hole that almost ruined a otherwise great and well thought out movie.

Answer: Arthur Case did not want anyone to know about the safe deposit box or what was in it. In fact, the box's number had been left off the bank records. The police did not immediately know if anything had been stolen during the robbery. Case going to the bank to check on the box, would only have drawn attention to it. The contents, the diamonds, were a link to Case's criminal Nazi past that he wanted kept hidden. It was only by chance that Detective Frazier discovered the box and the clues that had been left inside it by Dalton Russell.


Question: Obviously I missed a major plot point, so hopefully someone can answer this. How does Dalton Russell know what Arthur Case has in the safety deposit box? Theoretically, only Case would know the highly incriminating contents of his own box. How did Russell find out? Did someone (the rabbi, maybe?) rat out Case? And how did he know?

Answer: There are groups who have spent their lives tracking down those Nazis and their allies that escaped justice after the war. While the specifics are never spelt out, it seems likely that the Rabbi represents one of these groups, who have presumably been watching Case for many years, trying to find incriminating evidence. They may well, for example, have infiltrated one of their people into the bank as an employee - they could have alerted them to the presence of the unlisted safety deposit box, leading the group, via Russell, to stage the 'robbery' to determine what was within.


Answer: I at first thought that the head theft is somehow related, may be the son or grandson of Case's mentioned a friend who was sold to Nazis.

Answer: The man who was "beaten up" for trying to hide his cell phone was a bank employee and an accomplice as he's shown to be a member of the team.

No, he was not revealed at the end to have been part of the team. There were five in total, including Chaim.

Answer: When the box with the bug was sent to the cops, Case came in and told on himself when asking to help out with the cops.

This answer is incorrect. The thieves already knew that the safety deposit box and its contents were in the bank, long before Case was in the police van talking to the cops.

Question: Dalton Russel hides behind a fake wall in the supplies room. This would make the room smaller and items on shelves wouldn't fit the same way anymore. How wouldn't any of the staff notice this change in room size?

Answer: The hiding space was narrow and the change was unnoticeable to staff. Also, this is a large office supplies room that few people access, spend little time in, or take much notice. Therefore, its unlikely the altered space would be immediately detected. Everything was carefully planned, so the fake wall and the arrangement of the boxes and other supplies would have been considered. I have to add that it's a bit of a plot hole considering the tall, heavy metal shelving on the three sides that are loaded with supplies would take considerable time and labor to move and rearrange to accommodate building the wall and in the relatively short amount of time the robbers are in the bank. Realistically, perhaps it could be done, but probably not that quickly by one or two people.


Question: Why would Arthur Case keep incriminating documents? Why didn't he destroy them after the war?

Answer: Possibly out of the guilt he always carried with him. After WWII, Arthur worked to secretly redeem himself by using his wealth for charitable acts. The documents, which he never intended for anyone to see, may have been to remind him of his past war crimes.


Answer: Illogical...he only kept them because the writer of the movie needed him to do so...anyone with half a brain would've burned any incriminating evidence linking himself to the holocaust.

People don't always act logically. Some people do keep incriminating evidence.

Peter Harrison

Question: Why wouldn't the cops compare bank records/accounts against the name of each hostage? This would have narrowed down who didn't work at the bank and/or have a bank account. This information would give the cops suspicion of the hostages that could have been the robbers, since they didn't work at the bank or have an account, there is no reason to be in the bank in the first place.

Answer: This was a well-planned heist down to the last detail, according to Dalton Russell. While some of the robbers may be bank employees or had taken out bank accounts prior to the heist, probably at different times and over a staggered period, others could claim they were only at the bank that day to open an account, procure a loan, or for some other service (i.e. a safety deposit box). Only Dalton would not need an explanation as he never posed as a hostage. He remained hidden until walking out days later.


Question: This movie left me with more questions than answers. Even after watching it more than once. 1.) Was the fake wall built during the robbery or before? If it was built before, how was this done without the bank employees knowing about it? 2.) What was the purpose of the hole they dug in the floor? I thought this was where they stored the diamonds, but Clive would have had to tear up the floor and dig them up again later, which doesn't make sense. Why couldn't Clive have just brought the diamonds with him behind the wall during the escape? 3.) Wouldn't it have made sense to give each person who came out of the bank a lie detector test to try and weed out the ones who may have been involved? I realize that those tests are voluntary, so that in itself may have helped the police.

Answer: (1) The fake wall was constructed during the robbery - that's why they dragged things out, to give them time to finish the job. (2) The hole in the floor is so that Russell has somewhere to go to the toilet, serving the dual purpose that (a) he doesn't have to sit among piles of his own excrement for a week and (b) no unpleasant smell will build up in the storeroom, which could lead to his discovery. (3) Polygraph tests are notoriously unreliable and can be defeated by a suitably disciplined individual. As a result, the NYPD do not use them as a matter of policy. Even if, in this fictional storyline, they did, the unreliability of the tests and their tendency to give false positives is sufficiently well-known that it's likely that many of the witnesses might refuse to avoid the possibility of being incorrectly incriminated by a bad reading. So it wouldn't be likely to help them much anyway and could actively harm their case if it indicated somebody innocent.


Question: Why go through the extremely time-consuming work of digging through a concrete floor, when they could have just brought along a portable toilet with a hermetically sealed disposal system?

Answer: There is no reason for the hole, it's just wasted time and energy. They brought in enough materials to build a fake wall, bringing a little more would be easy. No need for a fancy portable toilet either, a bucket with a lid and some chemicals to neutralise the smell and destroy DNA would be enough, literally less weight than the tools to dig the hole. I think the hole was just there to be a red herring for the audience. Personally I thought he was hiding in the hole and it was covered up by something, but it turns out they built a fake wall for that, same result but it made the movie seem dumber than it needed to be.

Answer: We can only speculate, but a bulky portable toilet would be problematic - both carrying it into the bank and when exiting the building. It appears Dalton removed everything from the hiding space in a duffel bag and a backpack, leaving nothing incriminating behind. The escape plan was to simply blend in with other people while walking out. Eventually, the hiding space would be found. Using the hole as a toilet and refilling it with the excavated dirt could help eliminate DNA evidence traceable to him. He may have removed some waste in plastic bags. Unpleasant, but necessary.


Question: Was the bank employee who was taken into the back room and "beaten" one of the robbers? If not, was he actually hit or was it fake like the "shot" hostage? I couldn't tell if he was one of the ones in the car at the end.


Chosen answer: The beating was real and no he wasn't one of the robbers. The men who participated in the hold up along with Clive Owen's character were all much younger than the employee who was beaten up. The much older guy in the car was not part of the robbery.


Actually the guy that was beaten WAS part of the robbery. The four involved were the guy that was beaten, the guy that was Algerian that asked for a glass of water because his throat was "parched," the big-breasted girl that said she violated "Section 34 Double D," and Clive Owen, obviously. If you check the credits on IMDB, you will see that the guy that was beaten was Steve-O. They are all listed. The girl was Stevie and the other guy was Steve.

What about the rabbi?

I think he means Peter Hammond.

Not Algerian...Armenian. They asked if he was Albanian. He said no, Armenian...but I was born in Queens, I don't know the difference.

The bank employee who was beaten up was not one of the robbers because later in the film he attempts to pull the tray out from box 392 before Detective Frazier prevents him from doing so.

Answer: The Algerian guy was not Algerian. He was Armenian. And no, they're not the same thing.

Answer: Peter Frechette played the bank employee, Pewter Hammond. Who was beaten. Stever was played by another actor. To me, this was the weakest point in the movie. 1. It turns them all into bad guys for the beating. The move tried to make them into good guys (caring about violent games, etc) 2. The police would not have dropped it since there was a badly beaten victim. 3. He could have been another accomplice who didn't join them in the "pick-up" car a few days later. It was pretty weak.

Question: Why do the investigators not check the CCTV footage just before the intruders' arrival and find them out, as they wouldn't be there in that footage? Couldn't they easily identify the people who were there before the intruders came?


Answer: In the movie, the investigators do look at the CCTV feed, but there is a gap between when the cameras are knocked out and when the other robbers enter the bank. The investigators wanted to make sure that no-one else in the bank was in on the crime.

Question: Near the end Frazier marches into a restaurant and delivers to the mayor a phone number related to war crimes. Presumably he is ensuring that Case gets his just desserts and is exposed/prosecuted. But why the mayor? And what has the Jodie Foster's character got to do with it? She looks so happy but also took Case's tainted money.


Answer: My thought: The mayor is the highest-ranking person in the city and Frazier, being a NYC cop, is openly letting him and everyone know that he (Frazier) is taking credit for uncovering Case's war crimes, leveraging it for a promotion, a commendation, and full exoneration for the missing money he was suspected of taking. He was also not going to allow the bank heist and Case's crimes to be covered up, as his superiors wanted. Frazier had earlier taped the mayor's and White's conversation when they threatened to ruin him and used that as added insurance. White is someone who, for a price, cleans up difficult situations, regardless of most circumstances, for wealthy and powerful clients, including those connected to the mayor and city politics. She is cool, dispassionate, and unflappable. Her bemused expression is mostly a "mask" to appear unaffected by Frazier confronting them. She probably enjoys seeing the mayor put in this situation, as they do not particularly like one another. She took Case's money because she considers it payment for services rendered.


Question: Maybe I missed this, but when and how did the "robbers" bring in all the materials, plywood, power tools, saws, etc. into the bank to build the fake wall without anyone noticing?


Chosen answer: When they went in with materials as painters.



Question: Why did the FDNY respond to a hostage situation?

Answer: Firetrucks and firefighters are quite often dispatched to non-fire emergencies. They're typically well-trained in emergency and medical aid, and also very quick and efficient, so a lot of the time, they will arrive at emergency scenes before police and paramedics.


Answer: In a hostage scenario, there's always a high probability of injuries and other situations arising that police are unable to handle. Paramedics are part of the fire department and tend to medical needs. Firefighters respond to any possible fires, explosions, gas leaks, etc. They may also have to cut off water to a specific building, extract hostages, or carry out other rescue operations. Fire departments regularly work hand-in-hand with police.


Question: Because Collins stated that the gunmen screamed "in a foreign accent," and because the police might have thought the robbers were terrorist in nature, why wasn't the FBI called in to help resolve the issue?

Answer: From a movie standpoint, it would complicate the storyline and take focus away from Det. Frazier and his interaction with Dalton, which is a big part of the plot. Also, someone having a foreign accent does not prove it was something other than a bank robbery/hostage situation. The police know that calling in the F.B.I. immediately complicates matters, as once the Feds are on the scene, they take over the operation, relegating the police to a minor role. That can lead to conflict and resentment. I would say there was some artistic license being employed in how the operation was shown to be handled.


Question: Why were the bank intruders digging a hole, finally reaching a large pipe?

Answer: The hole was a makeshift toilet in the hiding space where Dalton Russell stayed until he exited the bank some days later. One of the robbers, while it's being dug, comments about it being used for that purpose.


Continuity mistake: In one scene, Clive Owen takes a piece of pizza and a bottle of water to the young boy who is being held hostage. The piece of pizza stays intact throughout the scene even though the boy is obviously eating it.

More mistakes in Inside Man

Keith Frazier: Sorry to interrupt you, Mister Mayor, but there's an old American saying: When there's blood on the streets, somebody's gotta go to jail.

More quotes from Inside Man

Trivia: Most of the interrogation scenes in the movie were ad-libbed.

More trivia for Inside Man

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