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Lockpicking is a hobby people find thrilling and satisfying, especially once a lock is successfully opened. Rising interest in this particular hobby has led to the establishment of locksport, which is the recreation of overcoming locking systems. Practice locks have also seen some growth in the past years to aid people in honing their lockpicking skills.


If you desire to learn the same skill, you may easily purchase a legitimate lockpick set that includes a step-by-step guide as well as various lockpick tools and practice locks here. This can be a worthwhile investment as it enables you to learn the addictive lock sport that may aid you especially during instances when you get to forget- or even lose -your keys.

While there are lots of scenes of lockpicking in movies and TV shows, it is uncommon to find accurate portrayals or execution of the act. Additionally, several lockpicking scenes found in many films are captured in an angle that avoids viewer attention – frustrated in finding an accurately portrayed scene? Fortunately, we have scoured the web and found 5 Best Lockpicking scenes on TV for you.

In television, lockpicking scenes are usually portrayed in crime, suspense, and thriller films using a variety of lockpick tools and lockpick sets. This seemingly simple act contributes immensely to the tense atmosphere of the scene.

📽 1. Midnight Run

The 1988 action-comedy film shows several realistic lockpicking scenes. In one scene, Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) tries to unlock a door using practical lockpick tools. First, he is seen inserting a turning device, which looks like a tension wrench. He then puts in an improvised home-made snap pick, repeatedly rolling his thumb off the pick spinner, which tries to push the lock pins upward. As he drops a tool and reaches out for it by bending to the floor, a gunshot goes through the door. The snap pick tool is a very rarely used in lockpicking films, making this scene a commendable and memorable one too!

📽 2. Terminator 2

Another realistic depiction of lockpicking is featured in Terminator 2 (1991). Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) is seen unlocking a door, first inserting a tension wrench into the lock cylinder, then adding the pick and pushing the pins up using the pick. After opening the door, she runs toward an unsuspecting guard or warden and hits him. 

Though very brief, the scene stands out because the camera is focused on the order in which the lockpick tools are inserted into the lock. First, she inserts the tension wrench, then the pick.

📽 3. Foolproof

The 2003 heist film Foolproof features a split-screen scene of a man and woman lockpicking two different doors simultaneously. The scene is captured in closeup, with both the male and female characters inserting rather thick tension tools and picks. That particular scene stands out because of the still camera focus and the way the actors took their time to accurately push the pins by using the lockpicks until the doors eventually unlocked.

📽 4. Castle (Season 5, Episode 15)

This 2013 episode of the crime-comedy-drama TV series Castle shows a scene of two girls in a dark area. One of them is seen trying to do a lockpick on a door, explaining to the other girl the difference between a wrench and a pick, and about not applying too much pressure. The good thing about this scene is that the girl is shown rotating the tension wrench, slowly, until the door unlocks.

📽 5. Angel Beats! (Season 1, Episode 3)

A rather short but accurate scene of lockpicking is featured in the 2010 anime show, “Angel Beats!”. The male character, accompanied by several of his associates, tries to infiltrate a schoolroom by lockpicking a door. The scene immediately shows both the tension wrench and the pick inserted into the lock cylinder. The pick is moved very briefly, and then the tension wrench is rotated, opening the lock. The scene is incredible in that the lockpick tools are accurately drawn, and the movements are realistic.

📺 Additional TV scenes

Aside from the above, here are a few more worthy mentions of good lockpicking scenes:

🎥 Bound

The 1996 crime thriller movie Bound gives a decent portrayal of lockpicking. In one scene, a woman named Corky (Gina Gershon) attempts to steal mafia money from a locked briefcase. She halts for a brief moment after Caesar (Joe Pantoliano) enters the room and gets clothes from his closet. As soon as he leaves, she resumes the lockpicking. What follows is a closeup scene of her inserting the pick into one of the briefcase locks and trying to somewhat shake or push the pins for a few seconds. Then, she adds the tension wrench, rotating it, which opens the lock and the case.

🎥 Undercover Blues

The 1993 comedy film shows a woman named Jane Blue (Kathleen Turner), who is lockpicking a door, accompanied by a man Jefferson Blue (Dennis Quaid). The woman inserts first the tension wrench into the cylinder, then the pick, seemingly upside down. She takes the pick out, then reinserts it right-side up, then shakes or moves it. She is then shown pushing the pins up using the pick, rotating the tension wrench, and unlocking the door.

📻 End thoughts

Lockpicking has not escaped even the movie industry. With numerous thriller, crime, and suspense films featuring scenes of the act, locksport has become an addictive hobby for many. However, only a few are reliable depictions or portrayals. The majority of films shift the camera focus away from the angle by which the lockpicking is executed. 

Whether this is deliberate or not is not known, but the relative intricacy of the act, not to mention the proper tools to use, may probably be a contributing factor. As it happens, films or TV shows in any 5 Best Lockpicking scenes on TV list warrant attention to detail in the lockpicking execution.

Nonetheless, it is a novel and interesting skill to learn, especially for those who are searching for something to occupy the many dull moments of each day. If all else, it is a legitimate hobby that can be applied for the unavoidable instances when you get to forget your keys.

If you are interested in learning this skill, just click here

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