The Big Heist is a Canadian-American TV movie which first aired in 2001, on the A&E Television Networks.
Based on the 1986 book The Heist: How a Gang Stole $8,000,000 at Kennedy Airport and Lived to Regret It the film tells the story about the 1978 Lufthansa Heist.
- Donald Sutherland as Jimmy Burke
- John Heard as Richard Woods
- Jamie Harris as Frankie Burke
- Janet Kidder as Maria
- Nick Sandow as Henry Hill
- Michael P. Moran as Louis the Whale, inspired by Louis Cafora
- Joe Pingue as Marty Krugman
- Bo Rucker as Parnell "Stacks" Edwards
- Rocco Sisto as Tommy DeSimone
- Robert Morelli as Angelo Sepe
- Joe Maruzzo as Paolo Falcone, inspired by Paolo LiCastri
- Gino Marrocco as Paulie Vario
- Sam Coppola as Paul Castellano
- Steven Randazzo as John Gotti
- Craig Eldridge as Agent Billings
Although the movie correctly depicts the Lufthansa Heist, showing Jimmy Burke as the leader of a crew linked to Paulie Vario, the crew wasn't part of the Gambino Crime Family as depicted, but rather was a large part of the Lucchese Crime Family, and the robbery brought a large quantity of funding for Tony Corallo.
Although Burke did have connections with John Gotti, Gotti was never involved with the Lufthansa Heist nor did he want to be a part of it. According to a rumour, on an FBI wire tap from the 1980s years after the original heist, Gotti was heard to say to underboss and his capo Aniello Dellacroce:
"I didn't want any part of that shit that Burke and those other fucks pulled. Only micks would do something crazy like this. Micks are fucking crazy; end of fucking statement".
It was also alleged by Hill, in Hill's book The Lufthansa Heist that John Gotti personally killed Tommy DeSimone, a member of the actual stick-up crew.