Heat: A Movie For The Atomized Man

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Heat is a 1995 American crime drama film written and directed by Michael Mann. It features an ensemble cast led by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, with Tom SizemoreJon Voight, and Val Kilmer in supporting roles. The film follows the conflict between an LAPD detective, played by Pacino, and a career thief, played by De Niro, while also depicting its impact on their professional relationships and personal lives.

Read more at Wikipedia

Watch Heat here, here, here, here and here.

L.A. Takedown, also called L.A. Crimewave and Made in L.A., is a 1989 crime thriller. Originally filmed as an unsuccessful pilot for an NBC television series, it was reworked and aired as a stand-alone TV film. The film was later released on VHS and, in Region 2, on DVD. L.A. Takedown was written and directed by Michael Mann and its ensemble cast includes Scott PlankAlex McArthurMichael RookerDaniel Baldwin, and Xander Berkeley. Scott Plank starred as Vincent Hanna, a detective on the hunt for professional criminal Patrick McLaren, played by McArthur; the story was based on the real-life investigation of Chicago criminal Neil McCauley. The film is best known as the basis for the 1995 film Heat. The film was moderately well received in retrospective reviews, but remains overshadowed by its remake.

Read more at Wikipedia

Watch L.A. Takedown here


Factual basis

Heat is based on the true story of Neil McCauley, a calculating criminal and ex-Alcatraz inmate who was tracked down by Detective Chuck Adamson in 1964. In 1961, McCauley was transferred from Alcatraz to McNeil, as mentioned in the film. When he was released, in 1962, he immediately began planning new heists. With Michael Parille and William Pinkerton, they used bolt cutters and drills to burgle a manufacturing company of diamond drill bits, a scene which is recreated in the film. Detective Chuck Adamson, upon whom Al Pacino’s character is largely based, began keeping tabs on McCauley’s crew around this time, knowing that he had become active again. The two even met for coffee once, just as portrayed in the film. Their dialogue in the script was based on the conversation that McCauley and Adamson had. The next time the two met, guns were drawn, just as the movie portrays.

On March 25, 1964, McCauley and members of his regular crew followed an armored car that delivered money to a National Tea grocery store at 4720 S. Cicero Avenue, Chicago. Once the drop was made, three of the robbers entered the store. They threatened the clerks and stole money bags worth $13,137 (equivalent to $110,000 in 2020) before they sped off in a rainstorm amid a hail of police gunfire.

McCauley’s crew was unaware that Adamson and eight other detectives had blocked off all potential exits, and when the getaway car turned down an alley and the robbers saw the blockade, they realized they were trapped. All four exited the vehicle and began firing. Two of his crew, Russell Bredon (Breaden) and Parille, were slain in an alley while a third man, Miklos Polesti (on whom Chris Shiherlis is very loosely based), shot his way out and escaped. McCauley was shot to death on the lawn of a nearby home. He was 50 years old and the prime suspect in several burglaries. Polesti was caught days later and sent to prison. As of 2011 Polesti was still alive.

Adamson went on to a successful career as a television and film producer, and died in 2008 at age 71. Michael Mann’s 2009 film Public Enemies stated in its end credits “In memory of Chuck Adamson”. As an additional inspiration for Hanna, in a 1995 interview Mann cited an unnamed man working internationally against drug cartels. Additionally, the character of Nate, played by Jon Voight, is based on real-life former career criminal and fence turned writer Edward Bunker, who served as a consultant to Mann on the film.


French gangster Rédoine Faïd told Mann at a film festival “You were my technical adviser”. The media described later robberies as resembling scenes from Heat, including armored car robberies in South AfricaColombiaDenmark, and Norway and the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, in which Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu robbed the North Hollywood branch of the Bank of America and, similarly to the film, were confronted by the LAPD as they left the bank. Phillips had a copy of the movie where he lived. This shootout is considered one of the longest and bloodiest events of its type in American police history. Both robbers were killed, and eleven police officers and seven civilians were injured during the shootout. Heat was widely referenced during the coverage of the shootout.


Larry Phillips Jr.

The North Hollywood shootout was a confrontation between two heavily armed and armored bank robbers, Larry Phillips Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu, and members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the North Hollywood district of Los AngelesCalifornia, United States on February 28, 1997. Both robbers were killed, 12 police officers and eight civilians were injured, and numerous vehicles and other property were damaged or destroyed by the nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition fired by the robbers and police.

At 9:17 a.m., Phillips and Mătăsăreanu entered and robbed Bank of America‘s North Hollywood branch. The two robbers were confronted by LAPD officers when they exited the bank and a shootout between the officers and robbers ensued. The robbers attempted to flee the scene, Phillips on foot and Mătăsăreanu in their getaway vehicle, while continuing to exchange fire with the officers. The shootout continued onto a residential street adjacent to the bank until Phillips, mortally wounded, succumbed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound; Mătăsăreanu was incapacitated by officers three blocks away and subsequently bled to death before the arrival of paramedics more than an hour later.

Phillips and Mătăsăreanu are believed to have robbed at least two other banks using similar methods for entry past “bullet-proof” security doors, taking control of the entire bank, and firing weapons illegally modified to enable fully-automatic fire. They were also suspects in two armored car robberies.

Standard issue sidearms carried by most local patrol officers at the time were 9mm pistols or .38 Special revolvers; some patrol cars were also equipped with a 12-gauge shotgun. Phillips and Mătăsăreanu carried Norinco Type 56 rifles (a Chinese AK-47 variant), a Bushmaster XM-15 Dissipator with a 100 round drum magazine, and a Heckler & Koch HK91 rifle, all of which had been illegally modified to be select-fire capable, as well as a Beretta 92FS pistol. The robbers wore homemade body armor which successfully protected them from handgun rounds and shotgun pellets fired by the responding officers. A law enforcement SWAT team eventually arrived with higher caliber weapons, but they had little effect on the heavy body armor used by the two perpetrators. The SWAT team also commandeered an armored car to evacuate the wounded. Several officers additionally equipped themselves with AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles from a nearby firearms dealer. The incident sparked debate on the need for patrol officers to upgrade their firepower in preparation for similar situations in the future.

Due to the large number of injuries, rounds fired, weapons used, and overall length of the shootout, it is regarded as one of the most intense gun battles in U.S. police history. Combined, the two men had fired approximately 1,100 rounds in total, while approximately 650 rounds were fired by police. Another estimate is that a total of nearly 2,000 rounds were fired collectively.

On July 20, 1993, Phillips and Mătăsăreanu robbed an armored car outside a branch of FirstBank in LittletonColorado. On October 29, they were arrested in Glendale, northeast of Los Angeles, for speeding. A subsequent search of their vehicle – after Phillips surrendered with a concealed weapon – found two semi-automatic rifles, two handguns, more than 1,600 rounds of 7.62×39mm rifle ammunition, 1,200 rounds of 9×19mm Parabellum and .45 ACP handgun ammunition, radio scanners, smoke bombs, improvised explosive devices, body armor vests, and three different California license plates. Initially charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, both served 100 days in jail and were placed on three years of probation. After their release, most of their seized property was returned to them, except for the confiscated firearms and explosives.

On June 14, 1995, Phillips and Mătăsăreanu ambushed a Brinks armored car in Winnetka, killing one guard, Herman Cook, and seriously wounding another. In May 1996, they robbed two branches of Bank of America in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, stealing approximately US$1.5 million. The pair were dubbed the “High Incident Bandits” by investigators due to the weaponry they had used in three robberies prior to their attempt in North Hollywood.

Bank robbery

Phillips and Mătăsăreanu, driving a white 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity, arrived at the Bank of America branch at the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Archwood Street in North Hollywood around 9:17 a.m., and set their watch alarms for eight minutes, the police response time they had estimated. To come up with this timeframe, Phillips had used a radio scanner to monitor police transmissions prior to the robbery. As the two were walking in, they were spotted by two LAPD officers, Loren Farrell and Martin Perello, who were driving down Laurel Canyon in a patrol car. Officer Perello issued a call on the radio: “15-A-43, requesting assistance, we have a possible 211 in progress at the Bank of America.” 211 is the code for robbery.

As they entered the bank, each armed with a Norinco Type 56 S-1 rifle, Phillips and Mătăsăreanu forced a customer leaving the ATM lobby near the entrance into the bank and onto the floor. A security guard inside saw the scuffle and the heavily armed robbers and radioed his partner in the parking lot to call the police; the call was not received. Phillips shouted, “This is a fucking hold up!” before he and Mătăsăreanu opened fire into the ceiling in an attempt to scare the approximately thirty bank staff and customers and to discourage resistance. Phillips shot open the bulletproof door (which was designed to resist only low-velocity rounds) and gained access to the tellers and vault. The robbers forced assistant manager John Villigrana to open the vault. Villigrana obliged and began to fill the robbers’ money bag. However, due to a change in the bank’s delivery schedule, the vault contained significantly less than the $750,000 the gunmen had expected. Phillips, enraged at this development, argued with Villigrana and demanded more. In an apparent show of frustration, Phillips then fired a full drum magazine of 75 rounds into the bank’s safe, destroying much of the remaining money. Phillips then attempted to open the bank’s ATM, but due to a change in policies, the branch manager no longer had access to the money inside. Before leaving, the robbers locked the hostages in the bank vault. In the end, the two left with $303,305 and three dye packs which later exploded, ruining the money they stole.

Map of the area around the Bank of America and events during the shoot-out.


Outside, the first-responding officers heard gunfire from the bank and made another radio call for additional units before taking cover behind their patrol car, weapons trained on the bank doors. While the robbers were still inside, more patrol and detective units arrived and took strategic positions at all four corners of the bank, effectively surrounding it. At approximately 9:24 a.m., Phillips exited through the north doorway and after spotting a police cruiser 200 ft (60 m) away, opened fire for several minutes, wounding seven officers and three other civilians. He also fired at an LAPD helicopter flown by Charles D. Perriguey Jr. which was surveying above, forcing it to withdraw to a safer distance. He briefly retreated inside, then reemerged through the north doorway, while Mătăsăreanu exited through the south exit.

Phillips and Mătăsăreanu began to engage the officers, firing sporadic bursts into the patrol cars that had been positioned on Laurel Canyon in front of the bank. Officers, armed with standard Beretta 92F, Beretta 92FS 9mm pistols, Smith & Wesson Model 15 .38 caliber revolvers, and a 12-gauge Ithaca Model 37 pump-action shotgun, immediately returned fire. The officers’ weaponry could not penetrate the body armor worn by Phillips and Mătăsăreanu, and most of the LAPD officers’ service pistols had insufficient range and poor accuracy at long distances. An officer was heard on the LAPD police frequency approximately 10 – 15 minutes into the shootout, warning other officers that they should “not stop [the getaway vehicle], they’ve got automatic weapons, there’s nothing we have that can stop them.” Additionally, the officers were pinned down by the heavy spray of gunfire coming from the robbers, making it difficult to attempt a head shot. Several officers acquired five AR-15 style rifles from a nearby gun store to combat the robbers.

Two locations adjacent to the north parking lot provided good cover for officers and detectives. Police likely shot Phillips and his rifle with their handguns while Phillips was still firing and taking cover near the four vehicles adjacent to the North wall of the bank (gray Honda Civic, Ford Explorer, white Acura Legend, and Chevrolet Celebrity). One location that Officer Zielenski of Valley Traffic Division used for cover was the Del Taco restaurant west wall, 351 feet (107 m) from Phillips. Officer Zielenski fired 86 9mm rounds at Phillips and may have hit Phillips at least once. The other location that proved advantageous for the LAPD was the back yard of 6641 Agnes Avenue. A cinder block wall provided cover for detectives who shot at and may have struck Phillips with 9mm rounds from their pistols. Detective Bancroft fired 17 rounds and Detective Harley fired between 15 and 24 rounds at Phillips from a distance of approximately 55 feet (17 m). After Matasareanu backed the Chevrolet Celebrity out of the handicapped space in the north parking lot, Phillips received a gunshot wound to his left wrist, based upon helicopter news footage that showed him react to pain. At the same approximate time, LAPD gunfire struck the Heckler & Koch rifle that Phillips was firing, rendering it inoperable with a penetration to the receiver. Phillips discarded it and rearmed himself with another assault rifle from the trunk of the sedan.

Arrival of SWAT team

After LAPD radio operators received the second “officer down” call from police at the shootout, a tactical alert was issued. The SWAT team (Donnie Anderson, Steve Gomez, Peter Weireter, and Richard Massa) arrived 18 minutes after the shooting had begun. They were armed with AR-15s, and wore running shoes and shorts under their body armor, as they had been on an exercise run when they received the call. Upon arrival, they commandeered a nearby armored truck, which was used to extract wounded civilians and officers from the scene.

An HK-91 rifle.

Deaths of the gunmen

While still in the parking lot, Mătăsăreanu was shot three times in the right buttock, the right leg, and the left forearm, forcing him to abandon his duffle bag of money, enter the getaway vehicle, and start the engine. Phillips retrieved the HK-91 from the open trunk and continued firing upon officers while walking alongside the sedan, using it for cover. As Phillips approached the passenger’s side of the getaway vehicle, he was hit in the shoulder and his rifle was struck in the receiver and magazine by bullets fired by police. After firing a few more shots with one arm, Phillips discarded the HK-91 and retrieved the Norinco Type 56 before exiting the parking lot and retreating onto the street while Matasareanu drove down the road.

At 9:52 a.m., Phillips turned east on Archwood Street and took cover behind a parked semi-truck where he continued to fire at the police (Lt. Michael Ranshaw, Officers Conrado Torrez, John Caprarelli, and Ed Brentlinger) until his rifle jammed. Unable to clear the jam, he dropped the rifle and drew a Beretta 92FS pistol, which he began firing. He was then shot in the right hand by Officer Conrado Torrez, causing him to drop the pistol. After retrieving it, he placed the muzzle under his chin and fired. As he fell, an unknown patrol officer shot him in the upper torso, severing his spine. Either bullet may have been fatal. Officers across the street continued to shoot Phillips’ body several times while he was on the ground. After the firing had stopped, officers in the area surrounded Phillips, handcuffed him, and removed his ski mask.

Mătăsăreanu’s vehicle was rendered inoperable after two of its tires were shot out and the windshield covered in bullet holes. At 9:56 a.m., he attempted to carjack a yellow 1963 Jeep Gladiator on Archwood by shooting at the driver, who fled on foot, three blocks east of where Phillips died. He quickly transferred all of his weapons and ammunition from the getaway car, but was unable to operate the Jeep due to the driver engaging the electrical kill switch before fleeing. As KCBS and KCAL helicopters hovered overhead, a patrol car driven by SWAT officers Donnie Anderson, Steve Gomez, and Richard Massa quickly arrived and stopped on the opposite side of the truck to where the Chevrolet was stopped. Mătăsăreanu left the truck, took cover behind the original getaway car, and engaged them in two-and-a-half minutes of almost uninterrupted gunfire. Mătăsăreanu’s chest armor deflected a double tap from SWAT officer Anderson, which briefly winded him before he continued firing. Anderson fired his AR-15 below the cars and wounded Mătăsăreanu in his unprotected lower legs; he was soon unable to continue and put his hands up to show surrender.

Seconds after Mătăsăreanu’s capitulation, officers rushed him to pin him down. As he was being cuffed, SWAT officers asked for his name, to which he replied “Pete”. When asked if there were any more suspects, he reportedly said, “Fuck you! Shoot me in the head!”. Ambulance personnel were following standard procedure in hostile situations by refusing to enter “the hot zone”, as Mătăsăreanu was still considered to be dangerous, and because there were still reports or the belief that there was a third gunman still loose. Some reports indicate that he was lying on the ground with no weapons for approximately an hour before ambulances arrived, and was groaning in pain and pleading for help. The police radioed for an ambulance, but Mătăsăreanu, loudly swearing profusely and still goading the police to shoot him, died before the ambulance and EMTs were allowed to reach the scene almost 70 minutes later. Later reports showed that Mătăsăreanu was shot 29 times in the legs and died from trauma due to excessive blood loss coming from two gunshot wounds in his left thigh.

Most of the incident, including the death of Phillips and surrender of Mătăsăreanu, was broadcast live by news helicopters, which hovered over the scene and televised the action as events unfolded. Over 300 law enforcement officers from various forces had responded to the citywide TAC alert. By the time the shooting had stopped, Phillips and Mătăsăreanu had fired about 1,100 rounds, approximately a round every two seconds.

Weapons and armor

An inventory of the weapons used:

  • Bushmaster XM-15 converted illegally to fire full auto with two 100-round Beta Magazines
  • Heckler & Koch HK-91 semi automatic rifle with several 30-round magazines
  • Beretta 92FS Inox with several magazines
  • Three different civilian-model Kalashnikov style rifles converted illegally to fire full auto with several 75- to 100-round drum magazines, as well as 30-round box magazines.

It was speculated during news reports that Phillips had legally purchased two of the Norinco Type 56s and then illegally converted them to full automatic. However, as Phillips was a convicted felon it was not possible for him to legally purchase firearms.

The two well-armored men had fired approximately 1,100 rounds, while approximately 650 rounds were fired by police. Following their training, the responding patrol officers directed their fire at the “center of mass”, or torsos, of Mătăsăreanu and Phillips. However, aramid body armor worn by Phillips and Mătăsăreanu covered all of their vitals (except their heads), enabling them to absorb pistol bullets and shotgun pellets, while Mătăsăreanu’s chest armor, thanks to a steel armor plate, successfully withstood a hit from a SWAT officer’s AR-15. The service pistols carried by the first responding officers were of insufficient power and used the wrong type of ammunition for penetrating even pistol rated soft body armor. Furthermore the police were pinned down by fully automatic suppressive fire, making it difficult for them to execute the type of well aimed return fire that would be required to attempt head shots. Phillips was shot 11 times, including his self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chin while Mătăsăreanu was shot 29 times.


Twelve police officers and eight civilians were injured and two suspects died in the shootout.


Watch videos of North Hollywood shootout here, here and here.

44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out is a 2003 American made-for-television crime film directed by Yves Simoneau. The film premiered on the FX Network in June 5, 2003. It is based on the 1997 North Hollywood shootout.

Homicide detective Frank McGregor (Michael Madsen) tracks a violent duo of bank robbers: Larry Eugene Phillips Jr. and Emil Mătăsăreanu. They were named the High Incident Bandits by the LAPD.


Watch ‘44 Minutes – The North Hollywood Shoot Outhere and here

One comment

  1. muunyayo · October 19

    Reblogged this on muunyayo .


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