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Encyclopedia > Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 comedy film directed by Frank Oz and starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine as the con artists of the title. Glenn Headley plays one of their targets. See also: 1987 in film, other events of 1988, 1989 in film, list of years in film. Events Michael Jacksons first film was Moonwalker Top grossing films Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise Who Framed Roger Rabbit Coming to America Big, starring Tom Hanks Crocodile Dundee II... A comedy film is a film laced with humor or that may seek to provoke laughter from the audience. ... Richard Frank Oznowicz (born May 25, 1944), better known as Frank Oz, is a film director, actor and puppeteer. ... Steve Martin (right) with Scooter, on The Muppet Show Stephen Glenn Martin (born August 14, 1945) is an American comedian, writer, producer, actor, musician and composer born in Waco, Texas and raised in Orange County, California. ... Michael Caine Sir Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, CBE (born 14 March 1933), known professionally as Sir Michael Caine, is a British film actor. ... A confidence trick, confidence game, or con for short (also known as a scam) is an attempt to intentionally mislead a person or persons (known as the mark) usually with the goal of financial or other gain. ...


It is also the name of a musical adaptation of the film. Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ...

Contents


Film

Martin plays a small-time hustler who cajoles Caine, a master of the art, into teaching him the secrets of his craft. When Caine decides there isn't room for the two of them in the same city, a challenge is laid down: the first to con fifty thousand dollars out of innocent Headley will be allowed to stay, while the other must leave.


The film is a remake of Ralph Levy's 1964 film Bedtime Story starring Marlon Brando and David Niven, and featuring Shirley Jones. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels uses the same script (by Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning) and most of the same shots as its predecessor, though the ending is changed and some jokes were updated for a 1980s audience. There is debate over which is the better version, though Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is much better known. 1964 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1948 Marlon Brando, Jr. ... David Niven was the second unofficial James Bond. ... Shirley Jones, in a still from the opening credits of The Partridge Family. ... Paul Henning (September 16, 1911 – March 25, 2005) was an American producer and writer, most famous for the successful sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, but was crucial in the development of several rural comedies for CBS. Henning was born on a farm and grew up in Independence, Missouri. ... // Events and trends The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 1960s and 1970s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. ...


Musical adaptation

The musical was produced for Broadway, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek. John Lithgow portrays Caine's character and Norbert Leo Butz plays Martin's. The show began its run in January 2005. A view of Broadway in 1909 Broadway, as the name implies, is a wide avenue in New York City, and is the oldest north-south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to the first New Amsterdam settlement. ... John Lithgow (born October 19, 1945 in Rochester, New York) is an accomplished actor, best known for starring in the 1996-2001 NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. ... Norbert Leo Butz is an American stage actor. ... January is the first month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...



Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was nominated for the following Tony Awards in 2005: What is popularly called the Tony Award® but is formally the Antoinette Perry Award is an annual American award celebrating achievements in theater, including musical theater. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...

// 1940s 1949 Kiss Me, Kate - Music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Bella and Samuel Spewack. ... The Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical is the Tony awarded to the librettist(s) of the musical. ... The Tony Award for Best Original Score is the Tony Award given to the composers and lyricists of the best original score written for a musical in that year. ... The Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical is awarded to the actor who was voted as the best actor in a musical play, whether a new production or a revival. ... Norbert Leo Butz is an American stage actor. ... The Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical is awarded to the actor who was voted as the best actor in a musical play, whether a new production or a revival. ... John Lithgow (born October 19, 1945 in Rochester, New York) is an accomplished actor, best known for starring in the 1996-2001 NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. ... The Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical is awarded to the actress who was voted as the best actress in a musical, whether a new production or a revival. ... Sherie Rene Scott is an American actress. ... Joanna Gleason (born 2 June 1950), is a Canadian-born actress who has been a successful character actor in film, television and on stage. ...

Complete Synposis for the Musical

The show opens on the French Riviera, where Lawrence is a con artist making a very nice living off the lonely wealthy women who vacation there, although he justifies that they are equal partners in deluding themselves (Give Them What They Want). His story is that he is a prince whose kingdom is being threatened by revolutionaries, and he is attempting to find the money to raise an army. One of the women who donates to his cause, a divorcee named Muriel, finds herself wondering the next morning if there isn't more she can to help (What Was a Woman to Do).


Lawrence gets word that another well-known con artist, who goes by the name of "The Jackel", is heading to town. On a return trip from Switzerland, he meets Freddy, who is working his small-time grift on a fellow passenger. Assuming that Freddy is the Jackel, Lawrence convinces him that Beaumont sur Mer is not worth his while and sends him on his way. However, a chance encounter with Muriel shows Freddy that Lawrence is a fraud, and he confronts him at his palatial estate. The splendour of Lawrence's world overwhelms Freddy, who begs him to teach him what he knows so that he too can get some Great Big Stuff. Meanwhile, Lawrence asks Andre to make sure Muriel stays away.


Lawrence's assistant-in-crime, the police chief Andre, is unimpressed with Freddy (Chimp in a Suit), and warns that he could give them all away. When Lawrence attemps to show Freddy how it's done by winning over the rich Jolene, his plan backfires as she becomes convinced they will marry and move back to her home (Oklahoma?). In order to get out of this mess, Freddy poses as Lawrence's younger brother, who manages to repulse Jolene enough to make her leave (All About Ruprecht).


Although they had fun working together, the two men get into an argument about which of them is better at their job. They decide to make a bet - the winner gets to stay as the undisputed champion, and the loser must leave town. The bet? The first to take $50,000 from newly arrived "American Soap Queen", Christine Colgate (Here I Am).


Freddy strikes first, posing as a soldier named Buzz who has lost the use of his legs from a rare psychological condition. His only hope is to get treatment from Dr. Emil Shüffhausen in Vienna, but that costs $50,000, which he doesn't have, so the situation looks hopeless. Christine is touched by his story and promises him a happy ending (Nothing is Too Wonderful to be True). She runs to the lobby to send a letter to Dr. Shüffhausen. Just then, a porter appears, paging the same doctor. Overjoyed, Christine brings him back to the room and introduces him to Freddy (The Miracle). The doctor turns out to be none other than Lawrence, who has overheard the whole thing.



ACT TWO "Dr. Shüffhausen" begins his bizarre treatment of Freddy (Rüffhousin' mit Shüffhausen), but to little effect. Andre is kept busy with distracting Muriel from interrupting Lawrence, until she convinces him that the distraction would work better from a more romantic angle (Like Zis/Like Zat). As they spend a romantic evening together, so do Dr. Schüffhausen/Lawrence and Christine, in an attempt to enrage Buzz/Freddy so that he will find the will to walk again (The More We Dance).


The treatment appears to be working later that evening, as Buzz/Freddy finds new confidence with Christine's help (Love is my Legs). When Dr. Schüffhausen/Lawrence comes to collect his payment, Christine says she almost has it - she's just waiting for some more money from her parents. Confused, Lawrence asks about the "soap queen" fortune, but Christine explains that she just won the trip through a contest sponsored by a soap company, and she is not actually rich. Touched that she would selflessly sacrifice so much for a stranger, Lawrence refuses the payment and helps her to leave town before Freddy can finish his con (Love Sneaks In).


However, Christine has fallen in love with Buzz/Freddy, and sneaks back to the hotel. She offers him the money and herself, which he accepts with only the slightest twinge of conscience (Son of Great Big Stuff). As they move towards their big kiss, Christine accidentally knocks him out.


Christine shows up at Lawrence's door, explaining how Freddy abused her trust and took her money. Lawrence is horrified, and offers her $50,000 of his own money to replace what she's lost. She leaves, but re-appears in moments, saying she can't take his money and returning his briefcase. The doorbell rings again, and this time it's Freddy, in his underwear. He explains that Christine knocked him out, took his wallet and clothes, and left. Lawrence is skeptical until they open the briefcase she just returned...instead of the $50,000, inside are Freddy's clothes and a note signed "The Jackel" (The Reckoning).


Realizing that they've both been conned, the two men call a truce. They reminisce about their chosen profession (Dirty Rotten Number), but are interrupted by the reappearance of "Christine", posing now as a real estate agent for a wealthy Greek playboy. She enlists the help of Lawrence and Freddy, and the three of them decide that it would be much more fun working together (Finale).


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2046 words)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 comedy film directed by Frank Oz and starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine as the con artists of the title.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels uses the same script (by Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning) and most of the same shots as its predecessor, though the ending is changed and some jokes were updated for a 1980s audience.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was nominated for the following Tony Awards in 2005: What is popularly called the Tony Award® but is formally the Antoinette Perry Award is an annual American award celebrating achievements in theater, including musical theater.
Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel (723 words)
"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" is the latest exception to the commonly held opinion that movie remakes are never as good as the originals.
On the contrary, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" is most amusing and excellent in its scenario, direction and pacing.
"Dirty Rotten Dirty Scoundrels" has three scriptwriters, of whom two were the scenarists of "Bedtime Story." This fact alone should normally guarantee a pedestrian remake.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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