Compelling? Romantic? Real Americans? Patriots? The movie plot centers on a 1970s Michigan bank robbery perpetrated by fictional Weather Underground members Sharon Solarz (portrayed by bigwig Democratic activist Susan Sarandon) and Jim Grant (played by Redford). The group shoots and kills one off-duty police officer working as a bank security guard. Grant goes on the lam and assumes a fake identity; decades later, a reporter launches an investigation into his role in the crime. The movie drums up “unabashedly heartfelt” sympathy for Grant as he works to exonerate himself.
Moviegoers would be better served by educating themselves about the real-life bank robbery and murder on which the movie is loosely based. In 1981, rich-kid Weathermen ideologues and lovers Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert joined forces with Black Liberation Army thugs and other ragtag commie revolutionaries to hold up an armored Brink’s vehicle in Nyack, N.Y. Their booty: $1.6 million to fund their violent activities. Before taking up her assignment as the getaway vehicle driver, Boudin dropped off her toddler son, Chesa Boudin, at a babysitter’s house.
Two of the holdup victims gunned down in the botched Brink’s robbery were police officers. One was a private security guard. All three were veterans from working-class backgrounds. Their names: Waverly Brown, Edward O’Grady and Peter Paige.