April 2018 | Rebecca Rego Barry

New Rare Books Heist Film

The rare book world is abuzz with the news that a film based on a real-life special collections robbery in 2004 is making its way to a national audience after a successful premiere at Sundance.

Animals.jpgAmerican Animals follows four Kentucky college students who plot to steal John James Audubon's Birds of America and Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species from Transylvania University's library. A librarian was injured in the heist, and the students eluded the FBI for two months--it's all there in John Falk's must-read 2015 Vanity Fair article, aptly subtitled "The untold story of the 'Transy Book Heist' is one part Ocean's 11, one part Harold & Kumar: four Kentucky college kids who had millions to gain and nothing to lose."  

As a cinematic caper, American Animals basically wrote itself--but Variety raves about Bart Layton's direction, calling his work "sensational" and "brilliantly constructed." The film hits national theaters on June 1. Until then, here's the trailer:  

Image via IMDB