Top 50 Comedy Movies: 37

Number 37: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Two very different men have a very similar hobby. That hobby, or I should say, career, is scamming, fleecing, hustling, and ultimately, cheating people out of money. The stage that they are set to share is in Beaumont-sur-Mer (a fictional town), on the French Rivera.

One of the gentlemen is a very well turned out specimen. Very suave and sophisticated. Quiescently English in every way. Very cunning too. He goes by the name of Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) but he can and will adapt himself and his name, character, and accent if there is a decent amount of money in it.

The second fellow in this film is the mirror opposite of Jamieson. He is not less of a tricky customer, however he prefers to play short cons, often for smaller amounts of money. Freddy Benson (Steve Martin) is his name and searching for easy money/marks is his game.

Spotting Benson and his antics, Jamieson worries that he will have his safe tranquil atmosphere ruined and his career will be over..

Jamieson, with his local contacts, has Benson arrested and put on a plane.

A simple solution to a monumental problem. But, things do not run according to plan...

Benson, while on his travels (thanks to Jamieson), meets an old victim of Jamieson's. It is then that Benson plots, plans, and returns to Beaumont-sur-Mer with his new information.

What does Benson do with this information?

Upon returning to Beaumont-sur-Mer, Benson tracks Jamieson down and propositions him: Teach me the ways of the long con or I will let your old mark know where you are and force you out of town.

Jamieson reluctantly agrees. However, he finds the task of teaching Benson about being "classy", tough. Things generally end up with Benson always plays the "fool" in their joint scams.

Tired and annoyed with making little money and playing the fool. Benson breaks away from Jamieson. The problem of them both being in the same location still exists however.

The two con artists in the end agree that whoever manages to con $50,000 out of a selected mark first, gets to stay, and the other has to leave.

Things do not turn out to be as easy as they both thought and they both have to dig deep within themselves in order to not only sabotage each others scams but to receive the money from their mark..


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Comments 6 comments

nufoundglory profile image

nufoundglory 3 years ago from Asia

I love comedy movies! Hey, why not you group your "50 comedy movies" together so that readers can navigate from one hub to another easily? Just a suggestion! ;)


Tyler Bracken profile image

Tyler Bracken 3 years ago from Berlin, Germany Author

What do you mean? :) I have the links to the next film/movie at the bottom of the page as well as previous ones.


Shane 3 years ago

This one should have been higher on the list... I am liking your list so far, though.


Tyler Bracken profile image

Tyler Bracken 3 years ago from Berlin, Germany Author

Yes, in hindsight you could be right. Still, it did make the list and I would like to hope people would investigate if they have not seen the film. So I am happy to have sent some people in the right direction.

There must be people out there who hated this film too, or thought it was average at best. So some will be happy with my placings and some will not. It is quite hard to get it right, in other people's eye :)


Beth 3 years ago

Every second of the wheelchair scene is comedy gold!!

I have to echo the others in saying that this really film really should have been higher on your list! :)


Tyler Bracken profile image

Tyler Bracken 3 years ago from Berlin, Germany Author

Yes, perhaps. I may reorganise the list once it is all complete. We'll have to see what follows, you could be surprised.

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