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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

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Two con men try to settle their rivalry by betting on who can swindle a young American heiress out of $50,000 first.


4,438 ( 254)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Reed
Lady from Oklahoma
Lady from Palm Beach
Nicole Calfan ...
Lady in Dining Car
Aïna Walle ...
Cheryl Pay ...
Lady with Pearls
Nathalie Auffret ...
Lolly Susi ...
Lady in Rolls Royce
Rupert Holliday-Evans ...
English Sailor #1 (as Rupert Holliday Evans)


Wealthy native Brit Lawrence Jamieson, living in Beaumont-sur-Mer on the French Riviera, earns most of his money through big cons on wealthy unsuspecting women. With the help of his associates - corrupt police Inspector Andre, who provides him most of his intel, and his butler Arthur - he pulls scams such as pretending to be a foreign deposed prince who needs money to finance a secret war to liberate his people. Beaumont-sur-Mer and thus his world is invaded by brash American Freddy Benson, another con man whose targets are also wealthy unsuspecting women. Lawrence believes Freddy is the Jackal, a con man whose true identity is unknown but who is known to be working his way through Europe. While Lawrence works on thousands of dollars per scam, Freddy works only on tens or if he is lucky hundreds of dollars. Lawrence's efforts to get Freddy out of his territory are unsuccessful, so when Freddy figures out that Lawrence is a con man like him, he decides to blackmail Lawrence to work ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nice guys finish last. Meet the winners.


Comedy | Crime


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dos pícaros sinvergüenzas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$42,039,085 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Freddy is in the casino wearing a US Army uniform, he attempts to use a US Army Good Conduct Medal as collateral at the roulette table and the dealer refuses. US Military medals are actually made of low grade metals (pot metals) instead of precious metals specifically to prevent them being sold for cash. US Military tradition states that the value of the medal is in the action taken to earn it, not in the material from which it's assembled. See more »


The Greek Millionaire introduced in the final scene is wearing exactly the same black and white stripped shirt as Steve Martin's character in an earlier scene. See more »


Freddy Benson: [telling a phony story to sucker Janet into giving him money] I was engaged to a girl back in the States. And we loved to dance... we wanted to be professionals, isn't that silly? And we got an opportunity to compete on television, on Dance USA. So we agreed that if we won, we'd get married. So we went on, and we danced, and we won!
Janet Colgate: That's great!
Freddy Benson: And in the excitement, we got separated. So I went back to the studio, and there they were. Naked, dancing... and then they stopped, and they made love...
See more »

Crazy Credits

While the names of Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning appear in the credits as two of this film's three writers, they are actually there just to credit their script for Bedtime Story (1964), of which this is a remake. See more »


Referenced in Castle: Fool Me Once... (2009) See more »


Pick Yourself Up
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Jon Monsarrat review: still a classic, intelligent comedy
13 April 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" is no longer a new film, but it's not showing its age, which I guess is a sign of a classic. I've seen it recently, and was not expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised!

With performances by can't-fail actors Steve Martin and Michael Caine, the film is zany, with a little toilet humor but mostly doesn't insult one's intelligence, and is far better than "All of Me" and just short of "A Fish Called Wanda", and "Roxanne", which unlike this film includes some romance.

Who should see this film:

-- Zany comedy film lovers: a must-see. If you're new to

Steve Martin, try Bowfinger first.

-- Safe as a kids / family film

I'll give "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" a surprisingly resilient 9 out of 10.

31 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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