This is a Robbery (documentary series) on Netflix

in Netflix & Streaming3 months ago

This new docu-series is reasonable entertaining and must have involved a tremendous amount of research into an unsolved mystery of a very high-scale art theft in Boston back in the 90's.

I was of an old enough age to hear about things like this in the early 90's but didn't and it being on such a massive scale it is surprising to me that basically everything that is in the docu-series is all brand new information to me.


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First of all... shouldn't it be "largest art heist" in the title. Not trying to be a grammar Nazi but I feel as though they did that incorrectly. I guess it doesn't matter.

The details that are presented in the doco are a bit shady, because even to this day 30 years later no one really knows what happened, the perpetrators got away with it and despite the still standing $10 million reward for information leading to the return of the items, no one really has any clue what happened.


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In a shell, two men gained access to a high profile museum in Boston by posing as policemen and then easily overpowered the two guards who weren't really tough guys from what I could tell and this was also back when if the police told you to open the doors you would do so.

The people then managed to deactivate the cameras and steal the tape, tied up the guards in the basement and then took some time taking some extremely valuable artwork that today is valued at $500 million.

The problem with stolen art is that you can't just fence it on a street corner somewhere and it can be very difficult to find a buyer because you can't sell it at any auctions or public square.

The most valuable painting that was taken is The Storm on the Sea of Galilee


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This Rembrandt is valued at hundreds of millions of dollars on its own and while there are some suspicions as to where it might have ended up, it clearly can't just be hanging on the wall in someone's private collection unless they have some sort of underground lair. They would never be able to show it to anyone if they did have it.

There are other theories that are brought up in the film about how the mob was stealing art in order to use as "get out of jail free" cards when negotiating with the FBI or whoever it was that got them in trouble.

The show weaves a web of connection between various members of the mob and how a lot of the people they suspect could have been involved ended up suddenly being dead. This reminded me of Goodfellas and how the guys get a massive robbery score but none of them can actually spend any of the money out of fear of getting caught and a lot of the people involved started getting murdered by the other ones that were involved.

This is just one of the theories in the documentary anyway. No one can say for sure because this entire situation is determined to be a "cold case" and people aren't even actively looking for the paintings anymore and to this day none of them have been retrieved.

Maybe the existence of this documentary will spark someone's memory or encourage them to come forward and collect their $10 million.

Should I watch it?

Well to be honest with you I think that Netflix once again made the same mistake that they do with a lot of their documentary shows and intentionally made it very long. It doesn't need to be as many episodes as it is and a lot of the information that they show you gets shown to you many many many times to the point where you start feeling as though they are intentionally dragging it out.

The fact that the episodes are all 50 minutes long instead of an hour indicates that this series maybe was not made necessarily made solely for Netflix but just ended up there as the producers shopped for a buyer. Whenever a series is a strange number of minutes long per episode you can be all-but-guaranteed that they made it that way in order to accommodate commercials should regular networks decide to pick it up. That may be something that already happened in the past. I don't know exactly.

So if you can deal with the fact that the show is going to repeat itself a LOT it is actually a very interesting story and you might even learn a thing or two. However, if you are like me and really dislike "filler" in a show or documentary, it might annoy you and even make you want to stop watching it.

It is solely because of this "filler" that I am giving it the rating of


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I will skip this one. I simply don't have enough time for long lasting documentaries, and even though they might be interesting, I'd rather do some quick adrenaline instead of such documentaries.

The last documentary I streamed was probably the three episode documentary about Bill Gates (which I liked). The probably isn't lack of interest, but time I guess!!

Anyway, seeing that you are the most faithful writer and commenter in this community, I just added you as a moderator... no work that needs to be done, but if you ever feel like deleting a spam post (if they show up), or anything else, feel at home! :)

oh wow, I'm a mod, what an honor :)

The main problem I have with Netflix's documentaries is that it is totally unnecessary for them to be in as many pieces as they are. I have friends who work in the industry that tell me that this is not Netflix's doing for the most part because these series are made, then the producers shop around to see who will buy them. Therefore, they make them into a multi-week broadcast so they can shop for the highest bidder. Just because it says "Netflix Original" doesn't necessarily mean that Netflix actually made it, they are just the first to have it available rather than it being something like "Friends" that was already on NBC.

This would have been a great 1.5 hour, 1 episode doco but instead the first 15 minutes of every episode recaps the information that you literally just watched and it gets annoying. If anyone wanted to fast-forward this one you could just watch the last episode because they recap every single episode before it prior to coming to the series' conclusion.

Thanks for the info! I remember reading about this in the book about Netflix written by Reed Hastings (No Rules Rules was the name of the book). He described how they spent lots of money in order to purchase the rigts to Icarus, a documentary about drug use in Russia among athletes and more!

:)