Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Last night, Comedy Central aired the 1988 classic comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Steve Martin is not as funny as he is in some of his other films but he still does a good job of providing comedy to a well developed and clever plot. Martin plays an amateur conman named Freddie Benson who has much to learn about the game of swindling wealthy women out of hefty bundles of cash. He falls into becoming an apprentice of Lawrence Jamieson (Caine) who teaches him the trade of conning as they team up to fool upper class women in Europe. Soon Freddie grows tired of being the apprentice, thinking he can do the job better than the master Jamieson himself, and they take opposing sides in double-crossing one particular woman to see who has become the better thief. In the end a series of twists and turns lands Freddie and Lawrence in a tight spot, but I won’t ruin that for you… This was one of the few 80’s in which I did not cringe in embarrassment thinking that it did not translate well to a time some two decades later when I was watching it. This con type of film was later used with female con artists in a 90’s adaptation called Heartbreakers with Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt. I have seen both movies now and I can say the original is much better from most aspects. From a comedy standpoint I would have to say that this film falls short for me, however, the turns in the plot kept me interested and entertained. Personally I’d rather see Steve Martin in The Jerk or Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, but that’s just me.
Think you might want to see this one...
“I know someone here. Oh yes? Who?... Lawrence Jesterton-- Lester Johnston--Jester Lawerenceton--Jamesss LLlllllllaa… Lawrence Jamieson? YES that’s it!”