DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 comedy film directed by Frank Oz and starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine as the con artists of the title. Glenne Headly plays one of their targets. This film is number 85 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies". It is also the name of a Broadway musical adaptation of the film.
Tagline: Good guys finish last... Meet the winners.
Directed by: Frank Oz
Freddy Benson (Martin) is a small time American con man/aspiring gigolo traveling abroad with his sights set on the Riviera, specifically Beaumont Sur Mer, which he understands is easy pickings for a talent such as his. Why, on the train into town alone, he bilks a compassionate young woman out of dinner and twenty dollars, using the old: "I'm saving up for my dear old grandmother's operation" ploy.
On that same train, however, observing Freddy's operation from across the aisle, is Lawrence Jamieson (Caine), a big time con artist/gigolo, who as it happens, lives in Beaumont Sur Mer. And instantly, Jamieson looks upon Freddy with disdain; after all, this is a man who has perfected the art of bilking rich young women for sums that fall into five and six digits by successfully masquerading as a Prince or some such Nobility, who needs vast sums of money in order to `save' his country from the Communists, an unspecified opposition, or whatever else will work. Furthermore, it's taken a lot of time and effort to get to where he's at, and he's not about to let the unseemly Freddy Benson cut into his act.
Actually, while both men are scoundrels, neither is quite that vile. Caine's Lawrence Jamieson is actually a bit of an altruist, as we find out, with a code of only taking in people who can afford to be taken and finding ways of spending the money that are not entirely self-serving. Martin's Freddy Benson is less disciplined and more small-time in his cons; he'll steal candy from a baby and tell you it's for his poor sick Gram-Gram if caught, but he is likeable, too, an underdog with little idea how the game is played at the highest levels, but eager to learn.
favourite scene is where Steve Martin is pretending to be
crippled in a wheelchair, having lost all feeling in his
legs. Along comes Michael Caine as Dr Emile Shaefhousen, a
German pschiatrist, who promptly whips poor old Freddy Benson,
by way of examining the patient, who cannot acknowledge the
pain, and with silent tears rolling down his face, says he
cannot feel anything. At which point the good Dr takes the
Michael Caine - a legend
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