Comedy classic starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine.
Director Frank Oz, Steve Martin and Michael Caine spent a day shooting a teaser trailer when there was not enough footage from the movie to make a proper trailer. The scene from the teaser appears nowhere in the final film.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a comedy directed by Frank Oz. It is the third feature solely directed by Oz (he co-directed The Dark Crystal) and the first of his films to not feature puppets. It is the second Oz-helmed movie to feature Steve Martin (the first being Martin's performance in Little Shop of Horrors).
At the beginning of the film a sophisticated charlatan named Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) cons rich women out of their money. He does this by convincing wealthy female tourists on the French Riviera that he is actually a prince of a small country and he is collecting donations for his nation's poor. He is friends with, and protected by Andre, the local police chief, who in return gets his share of the profits.
Lawrence meeting Freddy
Soon, an American con-artist named Freddy Benson (Steve Martin) appears in the resort town in which Lawrence operates, Beaumont-sur-Mer. Freddy's sloppy methods threaten to compete with Lawrence's operation. After Freddy realizes that Lawrence is a fellow con-man, albeit one operating at a much higher level than he, Freddy convinces Lawrence to teach him his ways.
Freddy as Ruprecht at dinner
For a while Freddy's role is to pose as Ruprecht, the younger brother of Lawrence's prince character. Ruprecht has some obvious mental deficiencies, and his behavior is used to scare away women who wish to marry Lawrence. Eventually Freddy grows tired of this arrangement and leaves Beaumont-sur-Mer.
However Freddy returns, and the two men realize that the town can't sustain two con-man. They agree on a contest in which they will pick a rich women and see who can con her out of $50,000 first. Whoever loses will have to leave town.
Freddy getting between Lawrence and Janet
At this point who should arrive on the scene but Janet Colgate (Glenne Headly), the American Soap Queen. Lawrence and Freddy pick Janet as their mark, and the two men begin their contest. Freddy poses as a wheelchair-bound American soldier to gain Janet's sympathy. After picking up on Freddy's scam, Lawrence poses as a psychiatrist who can cure Freddy's condition.
Later, after realizing that Janet is is not actually wealthy, the men agree on a new bet: Whether or not Freddy can sleep with Janet. However, before Freddy can make this happen, Janet disappears. Then comes the final twist....
In 2005 a musical based on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels opened on Broadway. John Lithgow played Lawrence and Norbert Leo Butz played Freddy. The show ran for a total of 626 performances.