I watched Ocean’s 8 the other day, and it reminded me of a long running plot detail in most crime, thriller and horror movies: The Perfect Crime. In most cases, the perpetrator tries to commit crime and get away with it through lies, deceit and misdirection of some kind. However, this is not always easy. Keeping track of lies can be a challenge, especially when there is an investigation going on.
In Murder by Numbers, Jamie and Richard commit a murder they presume is perfect. But soon, their carefully planned lies end up being their downfall. Even when people try the “strangers on a train” ploy, sooner or later, they are found because the case is still open. In the words of Professor Arthur Seldom from The Oxford Murders:
“Does the perfect crime exist? For years, writers have speculated this idea, and murderers too. Some even managed to put the idea into practice. But what needs to be understood is that the main danger for the criminal is not the possible investigation of facts in the past, but the problems that might arise in the future. Every alibi contains an element of falsehood, which, with practice, can be discovered. The only perfect crime that exists is not the one that remains unsolved, but the one that is solved with the wrong culprit.”
Here’s a list of movies that delve into the subject of committing the perfect crime:
- The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
- The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
- Strangers on a Train (1951)
- Inside Man (2006)
- Les Diaboliques (1954)
- The Killing (1956)
- The Day of the Jackal (1973)
- Thief (1981)
- Fracture (2007)
- The Last Seduction (1994)
- Arlington Road (1999)
Do you have anymore Perfect Crime films to add?