Con man = confidence man = grifter = swindler
We hold a fascination with grifters in movies and books, the unsung heroes or dark shadows of villains that somehow hold our attention. Today I’ve put together a movie playlist of my favorite grifter movies to share.
The Talented Mr. Ripley: In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy, named Dickie Greenleaf. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures. 1999, starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The Great Gatsby: Chasing the American dream, writer Nick Carroway comes to New York in 1922, landing next door to the secretive Gatsby, who has dreams and ambitions of his own. 2013, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.
Catch Me If You Can: A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. 2002, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
American Hustle: A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. 2013, starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams.
A Fish Called Wanda: In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot. 1988, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese, and Kevin Cline.
The Grifters: A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend–both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play. 1990, starring John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, and Annette Benning.
Boiler Room: A college dropout gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm, which puts him on the fast track to success, but the job might not be as legitimate as it sounds. 2000, starring Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, and Nia Long.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Two con men try to settle their rivalry by betting on who can swindle a young American heiress out of $50,000 first. 1988, starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine.
The Sting: In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker. 1973, starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
Confidence: Jake Vig is a consummate grifter about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend’s murder. But his last scam backfired, leaving him indebted to a mob boss and his enforcer. 2003, starring Dustin Hoffman and Edward Burns.