The Olsen Gang (Danish Olsen-banden, Norwegian: Olsenbanden, German: Die Olsenbande) is a Danish comedy film series created by Danish director Erik Balling and special effects expert Henning Bahs about the fictional criminal gang. The gang's leader is the criminal genius and habitual offender Egon Olsen and his accomplices are Benny and Kjeld (Kjell in Norwegian). The gang members are harmless, extremely rarely target ordinary citizens, and never use violence. The first film came in 1968; during the next thirty years a total of fourteen films were made.
Most of the films start with Egon coming out of jail and being enthusiastically welcomed by Benny and Kjeld. The three men will then have a beer together in the living room of Kjeld's home in Valby, where Egon will inform his friends of his latest plan, for making them millionaires. Plans are often two-step plans, where the first heist will get the equipment for the real, second plan. The plans usually feature everyday artifacts such as Lego, party balloons, cigarettes, etc., which are then brought together in surprising ways in elaborate and well-timed plans, often including clever social engineering. Bennys function in the heists, besides get-away-driver, is picking locks and starting machinery using "The Thing", a specially shaped brass piece used for manipulating machinery and opening doors. Egon often serves time with lawyers or executives who provide him with the information he needs, such as duty rosters for the national public record office. Egon is also a brilliant safecracker operating manually, specializing in the fictive "Franz Jäger" brand.
Egon is usually arrested in the end, for various reasons: scapegoat, bad luck, some irrelevant crime, or even turning himself in as a matter of honor.
The Lego build includes
- Egon Olsen: Gang leader, expert safecracker, brilliant but short-tempered and occasionally overdramatic
- Benny Frandsen: Gang member, get-away driver, always cheerful and handles practical stuff
- Kjeld Jensen: Gang member, tool master, ever nervous and humble, but does on a rare occasion rise to meet any challenge