Guest Co Host: Monica Rosales of DocMiami.org
In the Footsteps of Willie Sutton is a documentary film based on the life a colorful and famous bank robber, who was once dubbed The Babe Ruth of Bank Robbers by a NYPD Police Commissioner. Sutton’s criminal career takes us from the 1920s into the early 1950s. A master of disguise, he used finesse to gain entry into banks. Posing at times as a messenger or policeman, he eventually earned him the nickname Willie the Actor. Using his charm, wits, and smooth talking, Sutton never had to resort to violence. When arrested, it was not an easy task keeping Willie locked up. He successfully broke out of three prisons, all considered until then as escape-proof. The film takes us through these three prisons today and walks us through his masterful escapes. Using licensed stock footage and photographs, the film returns us to the eras when Sutton was robbing banks, busting out of prison, and on the lam as a fugitive. Visits to actual locations where events in the life of Willie Sutton took place, along with period music adds authenticity to the story. Newsreel footage is used to revisit Willie’s final arrest in 1952, followed weeks later by the ruthless murder of the young man who identified him. A murder case that remains unsolved to this day. Deep research has led to interviews of persons who played significant roles in Sutton’s life, who tell some fascinating stories of one of the most unique criminals in history.