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Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday's Top 5... Movies About Con Artists

#5: Catch Me If You Can

Steven Spielberg's take on the exploits of real life con artist Frank Abagnale is one of the director's most light-hearted works and features what is, easily, one of Leonardo DiCaprio's most light-hearted performances. A cat and mouse chase story which sees DiCaprio's version of Abagnale trying to keep a step of two of Tom Hanks' FBI agent, Catch Me If You Can is a fun and very entertaining ride.

#4: The Grifters

Three names: Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening, John Cusack. If that's not enough to convince you of the worthiness of The Grifters, which centers on a mother/son con artist pair and the woman who comes between them, then consider this: it also happens to come from Martin Scorsese (who developed the film and acted as one of its producers) and a post-Dangerous Liaisons Stephen Frears. That, my friends, is pedigree.

#3: The Lady Eve

Barbara Stanwyck is perhaps best remembered for her dramatic turns in films like Double Indemnity, Stella Dallas and Sorry, Wrong Number, but let it never be said that she wasn't adept at comedy. Her turn as a con artist in the enduringly delightful screwball comedy The Lady Eve is one of her very best and the film itself is fantastic.

#2: The Sting

The Sting might be one of the most inconsequential Best Picture winners of all time, and coming after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid it can't even be said to be the best collaboration of director George Roy Hill with actors Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but how can any of that matter when it's so effortlessly charming and compulsively watchable?

#1: House of Games

David Mamet's directorial debut remains his best film. A smart and impeccably put together noir about a psychiatrist who gets roped into a relationship with a con man and falls in love with the game, House of Games is a near perfect film.

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