Some very notable con men (and women) have appeared in film history! The best of the best are showcased here.
Audiences find con artists fascinating because of the mystery and suspense they elicit. However, despite the fact that con artists are likely to be less beautiful than depicted in films, their slick demeanor makes them intriguing characters to watch and follow.
If we don’t believe in the characters or if we don’t find the sophisticated plans they carry off extremely engaging, some of these con artist flicks can be a disappointment. They can also be some of the most exciting, edge-of-your-seat entertainment that a movie has to offer. Here are a few of the best con artists in film history.
10. Roy – Matchstick Men (2003)
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a movie conman, you’ll be pleased to know that Nicholas Cage’s Roy is a refreshing take on this type of character in Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men. His obsessive-compulsive disease causes his personal life to spiral out of control, making it difficult for him to con unsuspecting people out of money.
With his protégé Frank (Sam Rockwell) working on an ambitious and lucrative fraud, Roy gets a surprise visit from his long-lost daughter, who complicates everything. This is fascinating to watch, despite his shortcomings, how much Roy can pull himself together to complete a task.
9. Irving Rosenfeld – American Hustle (2013)
When you think of a con artist, Irving (Christian Bale) isn’t exactly what you might expect. But he’s still the best player on the field. That doesn’t mean, though, that he thinks he’s doing anything wrong. In his opinion, everyone steals, he’s just a little more ruthless.
Irving is compelled to work with the feds on a sting operation after he is apprehended by the cops. That’s despite the fact that it may appear that Irving is no longer as powerful as before.
8. Freddy And Lawrence – Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
We’ll see a lot of con artists working in pairs in this list. In Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, on the other hand, Freddy and Lawrence are having a good time trying to see who is the best thief.
Steve Martin portrays a womanizing conman, while Michael Caine portrays a slick conman from the upper echelons of society. Even though they employ quite different methods, they both display exceptional dishonesty in their attempts to con the same wealthy woman.
7. Bloom And Stephen – The Brother’s Bloom (2008)
As Rian Johnson’s second movie, The Brother’s Bloom cements him as a distinct director. One of the strongest con teams in the world is formed by brothers Bloom (Adrien Brody) and Stephen (Mark Ruffalo). In contrast to other con artists, these brothers go to great lengths to meticulously plan out their sophisticated plots.
One last huge heist from the criminal underworld is what Stephen persuades Bloom to take on. Taking Rachel Weisz (Rachel Weisz) on a globe-trotting journey is how they aim to take from her fortune. They may have gone overboard with the criticism, but these people clearly put their souls into their job.
6. Wanda – A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
As the seductress, a gorgeous woman is a common feature in most con artist films. Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) is one of the more engaging characters in the amusing frolic A Fish Called Wanda, despite the overused cliché.
Wanda and Otto work together on a diamond robbery, only to be tricked by a third party. Wanda must next find a bumbling lawyer (John Cleese) who can help her recover the stolen money. Even though all of the men are making idiots of themselves, Wanda appears to have an actual plan.
5. Daniel And Peachy – The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
As a con-artist film, The Man Who Would Be King is one of a kind since it combines the genre with an epic adventure. Peachy (Michael Caine), a former British Army officer, and Daniel (Sean Connery), a former British Army officer, travel to the Middle East in search of a better life.
In the wake of a misinterpretation, the locals believe Daniel to be a god and begin to adore him. The two pals make the most of their newfound wealth and begin to indulge in the finer things in life. Despite their egos getting carried away, it’s evident that these two are more interested in the experience than in money.
4. Moses And Adie – Paper Moon (1973)
With real-life father and daughter pair Tatum and Ryan O’Neal in the cast, Paper Moon introduces a second con-artist duo, just like in The Brothers Bloom. Following the death of Adie’s mother, Moses, a conman during the Great Depression, volunteers to move the girl across the country.
Adie becomes interested in Moses’ profession as they travel across the desolate and dusty terrain. Youngster proves to be an expert in his field and he and his mentor soon create a business alliance.
3. The Kim Family – Parasite (2019)
Another example of scam artists’ work appearing to be suitable for a family business. The South Korean thriller Parasite, which is up for Best Picture at the Oscars this year, examines class inequalities through the lens of a weird and exhilarating con artist heist..
While teaching for a rich and easily duped family, the son of an impoverished family plots to get his entire family employed by them. Even though the Kims are masters of espionage, they soon find themselves in more trouble than they bargained for.
2. Henry And Johnny – The Sting (1973)
Paul Newman and Robert Redford reunited for The Sting, their second buddy film together after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which they established themselves as one of the most dynamic on-screen partnerships in film history.
The enduring duo took on the role of con artists this time around. Johnny, a teenage crook whose partner is murdered by a deadly gangster, is played by Robert Redford in the film. Later, he turns to a grizzled veteran, Henry (Paul Newman), for help in getting the gangster to pay up. It’s hard not to root for these two because they’re such an interesting duo.
1. Frank Abagnale – Catch Me If You Can (2002)
The fact that Frank Abagnale’s story is factual is what makes Catch Me If You Can’s Frank Abagnale top of the list. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Frank, a young man who runs away from home and begins writing fictitious checks to support himself, in the film.
That individuals in authority appear to get away with more, so Frank sets out to impersonate an airline pilot, lawyer or doctor while cashing millions of dollars in cheques in order to get away with it. The true narrative makes it all the more exciting, even though it initially appears to be implausible.