Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Frank Oz. The main actors are Steve Martin, Michael Caine and Glenne Headly.
The Main Story
The title says it all. In this fun-filled gambling movie, two con men, Michael Caine and Steve Martin realise they can’t operate at the same casinos and general territory and therefore decide that one of them will have to leave. They place a bet between themselves that involves robbing an heiress, and whichever one of them wins, they will stay, and the other will leave town.
Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) is a long-time resident at a luxurious resort on the Riviera Beaumont-sur-Mer where he enjoys his continuous cons until a competitor arrives, Freddy Benson (Steve Martin). Lawrence is suave and aloof and creates an air of confidence amongst Nebraska’s gullible tourists where they happily believe he is a king in exile. On the flip side of the coin, there is Freddy a scruffy American who works the lower end of the scam ladder, accepting money for his non-existent ailing grandmother.
They meet on a train where Jamieson observes Benson scamming a tourist in what Jamieson refers to as a crude con. It does not please Jamieson as he has a theory that all bad crooks pollute the water for stylish con men like himself. They do a few cons together when finally Jamieson decides he has to get rid of Freddy.
The plot is bizarre and revolves around one con man trying to corner the other in an odd trap with hilarious consequences, and adds light-heartedness to being scammed.
In the end, Lawrence discovers that Janet is not actually a soap heiress. It turns out that she had won her vacation and “Soap Queen” title in a sweepstake.