'Money Heist' aka 'La Casa de Papel': From 'Reservoir Dogs' to the Ocean's series, here are the movies that influenced the Spanish show

While 'Money Heist' is not based on any true story, fans of the Spanish series will see certain tropes of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dog, the Ocean's series and more being used in the show.

                            'Money Heist' aka 'La Casa de Papel': From 'Reservoir Dogs' to the Ocean's series, here are the movies that influenced the Spanish show

'Money Heist' brings the ultimate robbery to the fore as the Professor unveiled his masterplan to a group of crooks who take up city names — Tokyo, Nairobi, Moscow, Berlin, Rio, Denver, Helsinki and Oslo - to go undetected. While part one and two revolved around the team's multi-day assault on the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid, the third installment brought the team back from hiding to steal 90 tonnes of solid gold bars from the Bank of Spain as part of another daring heist.   

Created by Álex Pina, the series has garnered much applause from fans and recorded a whopping 34 million views for part three. Shattering all-time records on Netflix, the Spanish series has been branded as "one of the most-watched Netflix series or film of all time in any language and the highest non-English speaking show ever".  What's more, it also went on to win an International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series.


Starring Úrsula Corberó as Tokyo, the narrator, the series follows a group of criminals who wish to be "Robin Hoods" in people's eyes. From psychological games and suspenseful plot to clever writing, the show has gained popularity for its originality. While it is not based on any true story, the Spanish series finds a chord of similarity in some thriller and adventure movies. Here's a list of a few notable movies:

Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Tarantino's 1992 thriller drama seems to have influenced the series heavily. The plot of the film revolves around eight men who use aliases: Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink, and Mr. White. While it was a male-dominated movie, Pina added strong female characters like Tokyo, Nairobi, Inspector Raquel (Lisbon) and part three’s inspector Alicia Sierra to add a layer of feminine power.

A still from Quentin Tarantino's 'Reservoir Dogs'. (Twitter)

The Ocean's series

Featuring an ensemble cast of George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, the 'Ocean's' series revolve around how the characters plan elaborate casino heists. Eight other con men are hired to pull off the complex job. The movie is full of unexpected twists and turns  and a lot of them can be found in Money Heist as well. 

A still featuring the ensemble cast of the Ocean's franchise. (Twitter)

'Inside Man'

The similarities between the plots of the two films are eerie. The 2006 neo-noir heist thriller film 'Inside Man' directed by Spike Lee and written by Russell Gewirtz centers on an elaborate bank heist on Wall Street over a 24-hour period. Starring Denzel Washington as Detective Keith Frazier, who is bowled over when a group of four robbers enter the Manhattan Trust Bank, block all the exits and take employees and customers as hostages.

The twist is that they are not after money but a specific object in the bank. In the Spanish crime-drama, the robbers don't steal money from bank accounts of ordinary folk but instead opt for freshly printed notes in the national mint, in order to rob the state and that seems to be a coincidence in the two plots.

A still from 'Inside Man'. (Twitter)

'Léon: The Professional'

The character of Tokyo is modeled after Matilda, the young girl played by Natalie Portman in 'Léon: The Professional'. From her haircut to her demeanor, Matilda and Tokyo seem to be quite similar. 

Natalie Portman plays the role of Matilda in the movie 'The Professional'. (Twitter)

And since we are talking about inspirations, we must also talk about the costumes as well. 

The series may not be based on real-life events, but its real-life inspiration lies in the famous red jumpsuit costumes with Salvador Dali masks. Moreover, the motif of the song 'Bella Ciao', an anti-fascist anthem adds to the theme of rebellion shown throughout the show. The creator of the show, Pina, told NSS magazine that it reminds him of "childhood" and found it to be the perfect choice to highlight the show’s theme of resistance since the painter was close to the communist movement and presented himself as a revolutionary.

A still from 'Money Heist' aka 'La Casa de Papel'. (Twitter)

Part four of the Spanish heist series is in production and is expected to roll out on Netflix soon. 

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