Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

“Ruprecht, do you want the genital cuff?”

If you’ve never had the unbridled joy of viewing 1988’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, two things: (1) See it. Immediately. (2) Stop reading this. The flick has one of the best endings of any 80s film (except for, well, The Empire Strikes Back), and SPOILER ALERT! it is discussed herein.

Now… where were we?

Ah yes, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Steve Martin and Michael Caine as rival con-men working their way through the Riviera.

The 80s certainly had its fair share of truly funny comedies (Vacation, Caddyshack, Stripes…), and we’ve all heard of those and seen ’em repeatedly. But then, came Christmastime 1988, we got Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, perhaps the most underrated comedy of the entire decade.

When Lawrence Jamieson (Caine) discovers rival conman ‘The Jackal’ has started to infringe on his territory, Jamieson has him arrested and discovers that The Jackal is, in fact, American Freddy Benson (Martin).

Freddy, though, knows all about Jamieson, and he blackmails the old master into teaching him the ways of the con. But the wily Jamieson sees a golden opportunity… to mentally and physically abuse Freddy to no end–– all in the name of teaching. Can you say ‘Ruprecht’, anyone?

No? Well, what if I yelled, “Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Oklahoma!” or if I mentioned, “Excuse me. May I go to the bathroom first?”

After obscene levels of humiliation, Freddy has finally had enough and offers a wager to end everything once and for all–– the first to con $50,000 out of a random woman of their choosing wins. Loser leaves the Riviera.

Ah, it all seemed so simple… but they weren’t counting on the mark being the delightful Janet Colgate (Glenne Headly). And they also underestimated the lengths to which the other would go to win the bet.

…from Freddy pretending he was a disgraced former Dance USA contestant (and now a psychosomatically-crippled soldier) to Lawrence pretending he was the elusive Liechtenstein-ian psychiatrist Dr. Emile Shauffhausen, the one man who could treat Freddy’s, ahem, ‘condition’.

Little did they know it was the lovely Janet who was truly ‘The Jackal’ all along, and that she was playing them. Genius!

But wait! It gets even better…

Two words: “G’day, Nikos!”

We ♥ Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

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~ by weheart80s on January 9, 2012.

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