15 June 2024

Top Cat-and-Mouse Thrillers in Films

The Program

Some of the most compelling and gripping stories in film history have been told from the perspective of the small-time worker, taking on the big threat. It’s an intense game of cat-and-mouse; despite having no connections, no backup, and no support, against all odds they bring the threat down, much to the surprise of the public. Take David Walsh, for example: the journalist spent thirteen years tirelessly perusing Lance Armstrong’s suspicious claims about denying doping. Armstrong did everything he could to publicly destroy Walsh, from discrediting him at press conferences (he claimed David was taking attention away from the fight against cancer) to outright suing The Sunday Times for publishing a story on his doping practices. Walsh was even threatened by Lance and his team, being told that his career would be over if he continued in this way. But Walsh continued to press on, and Lance finally broke down and confessed his lies in a shocking 2013 broadcast interview. The journey can be painful, but, as Walsh experienced, the reward of vindication is worth it. To celebrate the upcoming thriller The Program, releasing in UK cinemas on 16th October, we take a look at some of the most exciting cat-and-mouse thrillers seen over the years in film.

Catch Me if You Can (2002)

This surprisingly witty crime biopic tells the story of young Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio), a skilled con artist who stole millions of dollars by posing as different authority figures. Tom Hanks plays Cark Hanratty, the FBI agent tasked with the job of bringing the unstoppable Frank to justice who gets no support from his team, who often made fun of him for being stuck in cheque fraud.

Zodiac (2007)

In this dark crime thriller from visionary director David Fincher, the seemingly-impossible chase is between the enigmatic and deadly Zodiac killer, whose identity was never uncovered, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Robert Graysmith, who worked for the San Fransisco Chronicle. The Zodiac killer would send police body parts, and taunted Graysmith and his workers for being unable to find him.

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

This classic crime film told the story of millionaire businessman-sportsman Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) who orchestrated a robbery of over $2 million. Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway) knows Thomas Crown is responsible, and does everything she can to prove it, instigating a heated game of cat-and-mouse between the two lovers.

The Untouchables (1987)

There’s no denying that Al Capone was a ruthless gangster who crushed anybody that got in his way; enter Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner). Despite everything from death threats to attempts on his life and his loved ones, the Government agent sacrifices everything in order to bring down Capone once and for all, no matter who gets hurt in the process.

Enemy of the State (1998)

This spy-thriller tells the story of a group of national security agents taking down a U.S. Congressman, and when national security is involved the game of cat-and-mouse turns lethal. Anyone who speaks out about the conspiracy is quickly and quietly ‘silenced’, causing intense paranoia amongst the brave few willing to take them down.

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