Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) Review


Two con men are about to compete with each other to see who can swindle $50,000 out of an American heiress first, whilst living on the French Rivera a prime target for older women with plenty of money.


Lawrence Jamieson has a pretty good life for himself on the French Rivera swindling many women out of plenty of money. Coming up with story after story that they all fall for, a chance meeting on a train with Freddy Benson is about to change the whole game. The two men then see it as a challenge, with Lawrence teaching Freddy some tricks and then actually tricking him again.

I have seen the musical on stage that was adapted from this and the story is all very spot on, just with the musical numbers added in. The film is a very good comedy, who better to take on the roles of con men than Michael Caine and Steve Martin? They work amazingly well together and it really is such a perfect match. That had to be spot on for the film to work in all honesty as they are constantly on-screen and everything revolves around them.

The plot becomes more complex and has plenty of twists and turns along the way, often leaving you to wonder who exactly is conning who. That is obviously a big compliment in terms of story, it isn’t just going for cheap laughs it has a good plot to go along with some of the slapstick moments. Mixing many different forms of comedy into one feature film. Just a shame that they don’t do that in comedies now really!

I mean I do totally have a soft spot for Steve Martin, I really do think he is underrated for the levels he brings to comedy films. Honestly every time I watch him in a different film I am always amazed at the methods he manages to use to make you laugh, that was no different with his performance in this one! Michael Caine is well Michael Caine with all of his charisma and charm rolled into this performance.

I would certainly say that this film is worth watching as I think comedy films that are enjoyable are very few and far between, yes, I know it isn’t my favourite of the genres. But I am starting to think that my humour belongs in the 80s as the more I am catching up on films from that year I seem to enjoy the comedy ones!

3 thoughts on “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) Review

    • Yeah I mean I knew the story with seeing the stage show, but that didn’t take away any of the enjoyment. I think I should do a special month of just 80s films to catch up with even more!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this film, partly because I have spent a lot of time on the French Riviera and it has a travelogue aspect I love…also, Steve Martin lets it all out iwht a couple of his greatest cinematic moments…finally, I wrote about this film and included the rare teaser for the film – a short scene not used in the movie, shot only to promote it – you can see it here:

    Liked by 1 person

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