marți, 16 mai 2017

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, with Michael Caine and Steve Martin

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, with Michael Caine and Steve Martin

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

This is an excellent comedy.
It has been included on lists of the best comedies to hit the screens.

But it figures also on the New York Times list of Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made

Steve Martin and Michael Caine are in top form.
The former has the role of Freddy Benson.

Michael Caine portrays the more refined Lawrence Jamieson.
His partner is acting with the zest manifested in

-          The Jerk, Bowfinger and to some extent All Of Me.

For the latter I have posted two notes recently.
Michael Caine shows that he can play any type of character.

He has been a tough guy in Get Carter, which is also on the New York Times List.
He could be despicable as an agent, who is discovering young talent, but has no sympathy and understanding for his victim.

I have also posted some words and a video note on California Suite, were he enjoys the company of

Maggie Smith, Jane Fonda, Walter Matthau, Alan Alda, Richard Prior.
Bill Cosby is in that film, but he is an evil personage ...probably has been for many years.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is the story of two confidence tricksters:

-          Freddy Benson and Lawrence Jamieson.
Freddy is more of a novice, involved in small time crime.

Lawrence is much more sophisticated and "professional ".
He is actually giving lessons to the man who could become his junior partner...

Partner in crime, that is.
Freddy has to polish and improve his manner and appearance.

Whereas his targets had been, if not lower class, they were not aristocratic either.
And this exactly the "clientele" that is the only one Lawrnce is interested in.

-          Nice guys finish last. Meet the winners.

This is the tagline of the movie.
And to make winning more interesting, they place a bet.

The one who will swindle $ 50,000 out of an American heiress is the...

Champion of crooks.

They do not put it this way, but it is what I think is at stake.
There is a young, apparently naive, innocent woman who has inherited a fortune.

Or so we believe

Lawrence has the advantage of routine, experience, education, practice, charisma, a natural friendliness.
Some, if not most of his qualities are just fronts and appearances.

But he does seem the sure bet.
He cannot fail to win against the unpolished upstart.

-          Or can he?

Freddy enters the stage in an unexpected manner.
He comes at the roulette table in a wheelchair.

Supposedly, he is severely disabled.
And he immediately attracts the attention of the target.

And not just that, but the woman is really falling for his charm and inability to get around.
A cat and mouse game follows, with Lawrence pretending to be the one who has to "cure" Freddy the patient.

And since the latter is not feeling his legs, the older scoundrel kicks them with cruelty.
But it makes for hilarious scenes.

The film is actually very good.

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