Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
The Whiskey Robber is Attilla Ambrus, a gentleman thief who couldn’t quite make ends meet, so he turned to robbing banks to supplement his income in 1990s Hungary, all while playing for the biggest hockey team in Budapest. His brazen crime spree goes on for years, which would be unbelievable if he weren’t up against a police team that’s almost too incompetent to be true.
What do you get when you add together a bottle of whiskey, a bad gambler, a flea-market wig, a plastic gun and a Hungarian bank? $5,900. And what do you get twenty-nine of these robberies later? The legend of the Whiskey Robber.
When the Eastern bloc thawed, some extraordinary stories were revealed. But none is as entertaining as this. Attila Ambrus escaped late-eighties Romania for Hungary – but soon found that living on his wits wasn’t getting him very far. Becoming goalie for a third-division ice hockey team brought no fortune and little glory, and his procession of moneymaking ruses fared little better – until he discovered robbery.
With a supporting cast of car-wash owners, exotic dancers, drunk army generals and cocaine-snorting Hungarian rappers, Julian Rubinstein’s tale is a spectacular debut, immortalizing the most charming outlaw since the Sundance Kid.