The story of Frank Abagnale Jr., before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and legal prosecutor as a seasoned and dedicated FBI agent pursues him.
New Rochelle, the 1960s. High schooler Frank Abagnale Jr. idolizes his father, who's in trouble with the IRS. When his parents separate, Frank runs away to Manhattan with $25 in his checking account, vowing to regain dad's losses and get his parents back together. Just a few years later, the FBI tracks him down in France; he's extradited, tried, and jailed for passing more than $4,000,000 in bad checks. Along the way, he's posed as a Pan Am pilot, a pediatrician, and an attorney. And, from nearly the beginning of this life of crime, he's been pursued by a dour FBI agent, Carl Hanratty. What starts as cat and mouse becomes something akin to father and son. Written by
According to the real Frank Abagnale, Jr., after he ran out of the courtroom, he never saw, or spoke to his father again. However, Spielberg thought it would make a better story to have him communicate with his father, so they left it in. See more »
The slide projector used by Hanratty in his briefing on Abagnale has a carousel, which was not released until Christmas of 1968. See more »
Frank Abagnale Sr.:
Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.
See more »
In the closing credits, Brian Howe is listed as playing "Tom Fox" and Frank John Hughes is listed as playing "Earl Amdursky". However in the film, Howe played Amdursky and Hughes played Fox. However, this was corrected for the DVD release. See more »
I haven't read the book just yet - I definitely will now!
This was an entertaining and fun piece of film making from the
ever-reliable Steven Spielberg. It is a bit of a depart from his usual
full-blown and hugely epic pictures, yet this does not detract at all
from the fascinating story of Frank Abagnale Jr. I was interested in
this man before I'd seen the movie, and it only served to increase my
interest. Although it is important to remember (as with any such film)
that this is only 'inspired' by a true story and not told word for word
from one, the plot is fascinating and keeps you laughing, crying and
wondering until the end.
Frank Abagnale Jr. is an astounding and interesting character. The real
life Abagnale originally said that he did not believe Dicaprio to be
'suave' enough to play the role, but he certainly does pull it off.
Dicaprio's acting is superb, and totally believable as a man who could
lie to, deceive, and con everyone he met without once losing any of his
charisma or charm. Hanks is also excellent, he plays the role of the
obsessed FBI agent well, and also with a likable quality. The
interaction between these two characters was great, it was interesting
to see a budding relationship slowly build between two characters who
were actually positioned against one another.
I loved the look of the film. It was a refreshing blast to see the 60s
portrayed in such a vivid and colorful way. The whole setting and
atmosphere of the film gave it a wonderful and almost (I hesitate to
use the word) 'magical' sense. This tone appealed to me much more than
a darker tone might have.
However, the film is rife with moral ambiguity. As much fun as it is to
watch Dicaprio jumping from one place (and identity) to the next,
forging checks and spending inordinate amounts of money at a whim, the
film never really focuses on the morally bankrupt side of the story.
The portion of the film devoted to this at the end still seems to skim
over the fact that this man has stolen millions of dollars. It ends on
a high note for Frank Abagnale Jr., never fully spelling out the wrongs
he committed. Still, this would probably bring the whole film down, and
sometimes it's fun just to enjoy a bit of escapism without being told
off for desiring such things. I mean, it's hard to be totally strict
and upright - you have to love it when Dicaprio's character swindles
Jennifer Garner's prostitute for $400!
Overall, this is a fun film and really enjoyable. Not as much of an
epic masterpiece as some of Spielberg's other movies, but still a great
121 of 137 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?