You see it done in the movies all the time –– a slick protagonist needs to explore the bad guy’s abode, so he whips out a card, wiggles it in the crack of the door, and strolls right in. They seem to only take around 2-3 seconds to pick, be it with a credit card or a hairpin. Is this realistic? Or is it simply Hollywood being Hollywood?
For instance the Ocean’s Eleven remake is about a clever plot to rob a casino, yet not so cleverly blows a safe door to gain access.
Inside Man has one bank robber pick a safe deposit box in seconds.
Silence of the Lambs picks his cuffs and goes on to eat his jailers with no more than a pen piece.
The Dark Knight seems to try to baffle us with science and have an electrically charged drill to break the alarm system in the opening scene.
So does the volume of these kinds of scenes suggest realism?
In reality, there is not a universal lock pick technique, but it is doable. Of course locksmiths have the ability, though not in such a time span. One locksmith was quoted as saying:
“Whenever I would open doors for the police, they would always joke around about how it takes [movie stars] a lot less time to pick a lock. I would always reply that I left my TV lock picks at home.” Key Picking
The realism in movies has been widely disputed – see our previous article ‘What Hollywood Finally Got Right About Science’ for details. But ultimately lock picking is a reality, and care needs to be taken as to which one you invest in. The hardest locks to pick are Abloy Protec, Evva MCS, Assa Twin, Schlage Primus, Corbin Emhart, Mul-T-Lock, Medeco- basically any labeled high security.
You can also read more articles by our team at SMC:
Siobhan R.// SMC Editor