Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
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The story revolves around a simple American con-man (brilliantly played by Steve Martin) who specializes in charming wealthy women out of whatever charity he can manage to swindel. That is, until he stumbles on to the master (Michael Caine), a suave ultra-swank European who doesn't go for the fast buck, but rather for the slow millions.
The difference in their styles, as Martin invades Caine's comfortable European playground (and then ultimately decide to work together) make for extreme comedy. However, not the Jim Carrey slapstick that's been so popular lately, rather, this is infinitely more subtle in it's buildup, but "net net" as funny as most of the best contemporary comedy out there.
If you have yet to see this film, count yourself lucky. Buy this DVD and give yourself 15 minutes to get into it. You won't be disappointed. For those of you who have seen it and are thinking about buying. Do it. It's one of the few DVD's in my collection I frequently watch and enjoy.
Hope this was helpful to you.
There are two DVD editions. The first was from Orion/Image. It was a "no-frills" release, containing the movie only. Mercifully, that version is out of print although I have seen some unscrupulous sellers hyping that fact as a selling point. Don't be fooled.
Get the current edition on MGM DVD. Watch out for similar cover artwork. The current MGM offering has Martin & Caine standing in front of palm trees. (The no-frills disc has them standing in front of a bunch of beach umbrellas.)
With the current edition, you will enjoy an anamorphic widescreen transfer (better image quality than standard letterboxing). They are also including the original teaser trailer which brilliantly set up one's expectations without revealing ANY of the actual movie. Frank Oz (director) provides an interesting scene-by-scene audio commentary.
Fred Benson (Steve Martin) has developed some expertise in swindling the small game - getting women basically to pay him a dinner. He is loud, uncultured and proud of his achievement. He has even managed to get publicity for his misdeeds in newspapers.
He realizes that he has much to learn when he steps on the territory, French Riviera, of Laurence Jamieson (Michael Caine), suave, cultured, classy European, who is elegantly getting the better of the big game.
In order to prevent Fred from scarying away his prey, Laurence devises a bet, a match of wits, between the two of them. The one who wins it gets to stay, the one who loses must leave. The bet consists of extracting $50,000 from unsuspecting victim - which they both choose and agree upon.
Now the priceless and hillarious match of wits begins, each one trying to outdo another and each one alternatively getting one step ahead, until the hunters realize that they have been hunted themselves all along by someone with even greater wits.
Plus, a great ending.
MGM has done a fairly surprising job with the feature-rich DVD. Apart from a couple of standard theatrical trailers, it has a complete altenative track from Frank Oz (director) which is quite funny overall. Next up is a six and a half minute "behind the scenes" featurette including interviews with director Frank Oz, Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly, and the writer. In short, MGM has done a pretty decent job with this DVD.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have loved this movie so much more than the critics for years. I don't understand why ratings on my TV provider show up as a 2+ on a 4-star system. Of course it's not deep. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Underrated comedy. Good chemistry between Martin and Cane. The humor is simple but enjoyable.Published 8 days ago by chris c.
Hilarious! Love this movie! This is one of our family favorites, and it has been for years.Published 8 days ago by MJ