After 1981's Thief, Mann rewrote his script to Heat and asked Walter Hill (Hard Times, The Warriors) to direct, who declined. Before lensing 1986's Manhunter, Mann was still trying to produce but not direct Heat. In 1989, Mann reworked his script and turned it into the TV movie, L.A. Takedown. After the success of 1992's The Last of the Mohicans, Mann turned his attention back to Heat and with 6 months of prep time, went about creating his arguably most masterful work.
If you've seen Heat, you probably remember the bank heist scene midway into the film. There, DeNiro's crew have made it out of a bank with millions in cash while Pacino's posse from the Major Crimes Unit finally catches them in the act. What follows is a harrowing, intense and LOUD showdown between professional thieves and their law abiding pursuers. Always one for keeping it real, Mann based much of the film on real life cases, criminals and officers of the law he had encountered through his career. Mann himself spent months going on patrol with seasoned detectives and put his actors through the same rigorous and detailed regimens to prepare for the film with mandatory ridealongs, gun training, etc. The bank scene was shot in downtown Los Angeles and has inspired future fare from the Michael Biehn/Sammo Hung Hong Kong actioner Dragon Squad to last week's Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
To Live and Die on the Streets of L.A.: