The Flim-Flam Man (1967) Poster

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This movie need to be better known!
valkilmersbrain21 July 2001
I saw this film on AMC a while back and fell in love with its charm and hilarity. The film is about a runaway teenager and a seasoned old "crook". The movie is very funny, with one great scene linked to the next one. Directed by Irvin Kershner (Empire Strikes Back). Here, he shows a flair for staging complex set pieces and good comic timing. George C. Scott, always great, seems to be the perfect choice as the old con-man. As playful as this film is, there are some tender moments between the characters, adding some heart to an already fun movie. I hope this movie becomes more widespread in the future, since I feel so many are missing out on this one!

This movie was so good, I hunted down the next scheduled airing on TV, and made sure I recorded it. I've enjoyed it on tape ever since. Here's hoping for a future DVD!
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Missed this one on the big screen...
Greg Couture13 May 2003
Happened to be channel-surfing today and, how amazing!, came in on an early scene of this film (instead of one of the endless stream of advertisements and promo clips that pad their broadcasts) on American Movie Classics. Not letterboxed, of course (and WHY NOT?!!?, may I ask), so that director Irvin Kershner's Panavision framing was not part of the pleasure of viewing this pell-mell tale, scripted by the gifted William Rose. I don't know why I avoided catching this during its initial theatrical release, possibly because the trailers were somehow drab-looking (a fault of the cheap film stock commonly used at the time to advertise films shot in DeLuxe Color) and too frantic, the latter easily achieved when there's so much amazingly choreographed action for an editor to choose from.

Anyway, the cast, topped by George C. Scott, clearly enjoying himself in a bravura performance, includes Harry Morgan, Albert Salmi, Alice Ghostley, Slim Pickens...wow! What a roster!...and the lovely Sue Lyon (who, in one carefully lit shot looked like the ideal choice to play Joanne Woodward's younger sister in a movie one could imagine but that never got made before Ms. Lyon's retirement to, one hopes, a very happy marriage.) Michael Sarrazin acquits himself quite well, despite the formidable presence of Mr. Scott in full thespic throttle, and Jerry Goldsmith's music underscores the proceedings quite skillfully, including his use of a harmonica (which I usually find somewhat off-putting.) My only complaint, as an enthusiast for Detroit products of the past, is the merciless destruction of that bright red Plymouth convertible as it careens through a town left devastated in its wake. That particular sequence packed more eye-popping excitement than all of the more recent destruction derbies in the many so-called action movies in the decades since.
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8/10
Great cast!
yenlo4 October 1999
One of those movies that's fun to watch over and over. An all around excellent cast headed up George C. Scott as the traveling con-man . Support by Harry Morgan, Slim Pickens, Strother Martin, Jack Albertson, Michael Sarrazin, Sue Lyon. Woodrow Parfrey and Alice Ghostley make this comedy/light drama film a classic. The con games played on Martin, Pickens and Parfrey are truly great as well as the car and truck chases. You can't help but like this picture.
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9/10
The Greatest Con Man
theowinthrop22 March 2006
George C. Scott's initial film performances were usually quite dark ones, such as the forceful District Attorney in ANATOMY OF A MURDER or the cynical billiard player manager in THE HUSTLER. In 1964 he showed that he could be hysterically funny and still a dark figure in the film DR. STRANGELOVE as General "Buck" Turgidson. Turgidson is able to suggest that a mistakenly ordered attack on the U.S.S.R. with nuclear weapons should be followed up by a real sneak attack to finish off the "Ruskies", but he is capable of also getting so carried away with his fascination and love of flying that he can picture the formation of the fliers on the mistaken attack as beautifully skillful and trained to avoid being shot down - until he realizes they have to be shot down. It was a wonderful performance, and showed that he had a great sense of timing and comic rhythm. But it was not until 1967 that Scott got a comedy role that was not so dark. So instead of being one of the madmen who cause the world to come to an end, he played Mordecai Jones, the ace con-man of the modern age, who shows his young disciple Curley how corrupt the world is.

Scott went to town here as the grifter, cheating the likes of Slim Pickens (with the found wallet trick) and Strother Martin with an expensive gambling game that Michael Sarrazin (Curley) learns how to play for the prizes. He also manages to make life difficult for Jack Albertson and Alice Ghostley, whose daughter (Sue Lyon)ends up romantically tied to Sarrazin. Finally there are the guardians of the law, Harry Morgan and Albert Salmi, always one step away from catching Scott and Sarrazin (listen to Morgan's ridiculous conclusion that the two grifters fled across a deep river with a special boat - you can never hear the word "amphibious" again without smiling). The film reaches a climax when Scott is accidentally captured. But will Sarrazin demonstrate he has learned enough about con-games from the master to rescue "Ole Mordecai"?

An entertaining comedy, and another worthy performance by Scott in his film career.
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9/10
Let's have a DVD release!
Brad1 February 2007
This film has long been one of my favorites, and I think it's just a crime that this wonderful movie is not on DVD yet! I mean come on, this movie was no small time production. It boasted a big name, George C. Scott, as well as a few other well-known supporting players such as Harry Morgan (Col. Potter on "M*A*S*H"), Strother Martin ("What we got here is failure to communicate" from "Cool Hand Luke"), Jack Albertson ("Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Chico and the Man"), and Slim Pickens (who also appeared with Scott in "Dr. Stragelove").

The story is quite amusing and wonderfully crafted: A slick con man way up in his years takes a young army deserter under his wing to teach him the tricks of the confidence game. The young man-gone-AWOL at first is taken in by how easy it is to sucker people out of their belongings by having the right props and a perfectly rehearsed act. But he begins to have doubts about the illegal and dishonest ways of his aging con artist mentor and decides that a life on the run is just not for him.

All in all, the film is an incredible light-hearted comedy/adventure complimented by a great musical score by Jerry Goldsmith.

As for a DVD release, I wouldn't even complain if the disc had no special features on it (commentary tracks, theatrical trailer, etc.). Just a widescreen presentation for 16:9 televisions would be plenty enough for me. I hope when 20th Century Fox looks through their film vaults for potential DVD releases that they don't overlook this one!
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The Many Faces of George.C Scott
skyboy199925 July 2003
Anyone who has seen George.C.Scott in his most widely recognized role as PATTON(1970) should take a look at his wonderful performance in THE FLIM FLAN MAN(1967). It's like looking at two absolutely different actors. I have always admired the actors and actress' who completely disappear into their parts (Alec Guiness, Kate Blanchet, Tom Hanks, to name a few) You forget for a few hours that you are watching an actor, and that makes the characters they play stand out all the more. In this film, Scott plays Mordecai Jones, a legendary con-man who takes up with a young soldier awol from the army. The two stike a chord immediately, and start working together to make a quick buck. Things start to get interesting when the young soldier proves to be a little bit too honset for the Flim Flan Man. The locales, supporting cast, and a top notch car chase make this film top notch entertainment, but it is Scott who steals the picture (as he has done so many times i.e DR STRANGELOVE, THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS) as the wiley and charming Flim Flan Man. Grab a copy of THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, and make it a evening. You won't be disappointed you did.
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7/10
Film Flam Man needs to be on DVD before I die of old age..
4friedchickensandacoke19 April 2005
Wanted to point out that the 1967 20th Century Fox film The Film Flam Man starring George C Scott and Michael Sarrazin has never see digital media. No laser discs were ever made, and now in its 14th year, no DVD either. This wonderful panavision comedy, and cast along with an excellent soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is just crying out to be made in 5.1 surround and 2:35.1 widescreen. All prints on TV are purple in texture, and the VHS, though as good as we can get now, is full screen. I have heard rumors that AMC has run this film in widescreen. But AMC doesn't reach all the populace in every region on cable TV. I have written many letters on different forums and also to Fox themselves, but never a peep from the studio when a DVD may be in the works. Can others help me and others like me, to get this gem on video in proper form??
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9/10
George C. Scott alone is worth seeing the film.
Steek6 November 2003
Anyone who has seen Patton,and enjoyed that and other performances of George C. Scott, should see this film just to marvel at the range and abilities of this classic stage actor. A strong supporting cast make this a delightful comedic romp by this giant of an American actor.
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10/10
If I was stranded on a desert island...
charlie_987 July 2005
...I would want this movie. In my humble opinion this is one of the movie greats. I remember watching this as a 11-year old in 1979 on the Late Late Show and just marveling at it. The complex character of Mordecai Jones played by a brilliant George C Scott and the innocence of Curley (played by Michael Sarrazin) all set in the urgency of the 1950's South. I bought a used VHS copy on eBay and have just about worn it out in the 4 years I have had it and am waiting for it to come out on DVD. "Everybody has a little larceny in them..." is probably the best line in the movie and sets the pace for the rest of the movie, especially the run in with the cotton farmer played by Slim Pickens. It's in my Top 10.
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10/10
Lawrenceburgs claim to fame
hamanncrosscreek20 February 2004
I first saw The Film Flam Man in the early 70's and it became my favorite film. George C. Scott plays light comedy effortlessly. As you watch him he really seems to be enjoying himself as" Mordecai Jones." Known for dramatic roles during his long career this character stands out from all of his others. Michael Sarrazin (in his film debut) gives a likable performance. Veteran character actors Woodrow Parfrey, Strother Martin,Harry Morgan, Alice Ghostley, Albert Salmi and Slim Pickens are all excellent in their supporting roles. 20th Century Fox started filming The Film Flam Man in September 1966. The town of "Clayton" North Carolina was actually Lawrenceburg Kentucky where many scenes were shot. We traveled through Lawrenceburg in 2000, and the downtown was virtually unchanged.The editor of the local newspaper was kind enough to point out some of the filming locations and gave us some FFM movie posters. The local newspaper covered the filming in '66 and I was able to access the articles on microfilm in the towns library. Legendary stunt driver Bill Hickman [ Bullitt, Seven ups, Vanishing Point] who drove the red Plymouth convertible in the chase sequence ,hit a street sign,shoving it through a window ,injuring a woman watching the action. The mishap is shown in the film. The Film Flam Man is a little known gem ,worthy of repeat viewings.
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9/10
George C. Scott fans shouldn't miss this one.
jckruize4 October 2001
Wry comedy-drama with an appropriately larger-than-life performance by George C. Scott. The great supporting cast includes Henry Morgan and Slim Pickens, excellent as always, plus Michael Sarrazin in a more animated performance than usual. Expert use of some off-the-beaten-path Southern locales. The script is quite perceptive in its view of mankind's flaws and foibles. A fun, slapsticky car chase, too. If you can convince your viewing companions to pass up the usual "New Releases" drivel and take a chance on this one, you'll be well-rewarded.
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4/10
Good fun!
Cal-162 November 1998
This film has a bit of Keystone Kops, the Dukes of Hazard, and The Music Man, all wrapped into one. If I were casting it, it would never have occurred to me to cast George C. Scott in the lead; but he does a terrific job.
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8/10
" I don't want to end up like you Mordecai "
thinker169121 November 2008
There are many characters who come along in the movies who give us more fun and laughter than we care to remember. But while we enjoy their visit, there is something very profound in what they also taught us. So it is with this movie. "The Film-Flam Man" is a serious and yet so hilarious story, one can readily imagine, there being such a character. Taken from the exploits of several, real con men during the depression and deep in the rural South, that Hollywood legend George C. Scott had no trouble bringing 'Mordecai Jones' to life. His side kick for this episode of his life is none other than Michael Sarrazin who plays Curley Treadaway. Other notable actors who maintain integrity in this film are Harry Morgan as Sheriff Slad, Jack Albertson, Albert Salmi and Slim Pickens as Jarvis Bates. The two drifters take advantage of the greed of others for their immediate needs, then set out for the big Con in the city. Unfortunately, Treddaway falls for a beautiful young girl called Bonnie Lee Packard which lead the two into the arms of the law. Now its time for the young man to choose to either run or face the consequences. Good fun. ***
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7/10
It doesn't pay to cheat....unless it's against dishonest folks
helpless_dancer28 August 1999
An aging con artist teams up with an Army deserter to begin fleecing the locals of their hard earned cash. The flim flam man knows all the cons and he and his sidekick run several smooth operations; doing well until they have a run-in with the local constable. Their problems are a direct result of something that the older con man no longer believes in, but is still alive and well in the human heart. Good comedy even though it is dated.
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10/10
A great movie
bigjoethepro13 December 2006
One of the great lines of all-time (in my opinion) practically opens the movie. The Film-Flam Man (Scott) and Curly (Sarrazin) - both on the run - are returning to Curly's idyllic hide-out, a caboose overturned near an old railway track in the woods. The Film-Flam Man says "...it's a mighty pretty spot lad. Yep, millions of people slave their lives away just to spend a couple weeks a year in a place like this". Quite true, and it really makes me wonder today what is really important to my workaholic American countrymen.

There are some other great lines later on in the movie; while crossing a river on a ferry, The Film-Flam Man imparts his grifting philosophy on his new, younger shill.

Quite funny and entertaining, it's impressively full of many of the small ironies of life and now that I think about it, it really reminds me of one of my favorite novels, Steinbeck's 'Cannery Row'.

Harry Morgan's Sheriff is hilarious and Slim Pickens plays a memorable country bumpkin.

Great escapist fiction, I really recommend this movie. Watch it!
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10/10
Excellent southern comedy, with a great cast
metaluna_mutant29 June 2000
Excellent comedy set in the south. George C. Scott plays a veteran con artist who sets out to teach his new apprentice the ways of conning people in the rural south. Sarrazin plays his new apprentice who slowly discovers he's not cut out to be a con man. Slim Pickens has a memorable role as country bumpkin who gets burned by "the Flim-Flam Man".
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10/10
A favorite film of my dad's
mmdds13 December 2007
I was fourteen when I saw The Film-Flam Man at the local theater. I liked it so much I took my father to see it a few nights later. My dad had a PhD in history and was a college professor and author. He loved the movie until the day he died, and what really impressed him was the identity of the owner of the wallet "found" by Slim Pickens. It belonged to one Titus Oates. My father enlightened me that Titus Oates was one of England's most renowned liars and perjurers. (He lived in the 17th century.) I assume he was one of only a few movie-goers who got the joke, and it was probably the only cerebral scene in the entire movie.
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6/10
Delightful George C. in Rural Comedy!
shepardjessica-115 October 2004
It's nice to see such an intense great actor like Mr. Scott delve into this type of lazy-style comedy. He's simply marvelous in a W.C. fields type role. Michael Sarrazin is decent and Sue Lyon very fetching. Albert Salmi is great as a deputy. Great cinematography. A 6 out of 10.

1967 was a great year for films and this was not at the top of the heap, but a pure pleasure dramady. Strother Martin shines in a bit role (one of our better characters who died too young). The mediocrity of the rural policeman is a joy to watch. Nicely-paced. George C. Scott should have done a few more like this! The poster is excellent and a fun script. Scott's unkempt dowdiness makes him all the more charming!
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The following is from personal experience as Casting Director on this flic.
joe.star24 September 1999
George C. Scott was/is a fine actor, he never had to flim-flam in performance, not even in the title role on this one. Watching the dailies, as the Casting Director I knew for sure we had the right leading man. As himself George could not put up with the flim-flam & hype of showbiz. That led to his refusing the hyped & exploited presentation of the awards the industry gave him. He's a true Actor for eternity now.
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10/10
A Lesson Learned!
dr dimento8 November 2006
This is a great educational movie about life in the real. Here, Curly learns that while he believed most people (including himself) to be honest and caring individuals, he learns from his trusted associate and partner otherwise, that "you can't cheat an honest man," as so well put by Mordicai. Having been taken a few times myself in life and thus a happy matriculated student of the game, I especially see the flamboyance of the con and what to open my eyes to after having been graduated at a cost.

Curly learns something we all need to learn, people can't be trusted and especially those who seem to be the most trusted and reverered in life, for everyone has a skelton (or two or few) in the closet and/or will take the con if the risk is low and the reward high, regardless of the dishonesty involved. Yes, Mordicai is the film flam man but his lesson matriculates quite well in the end, if one listens and learns. DrD
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7/10
Question about the statue in front of the courthouse
kufsu224 May 2006
I would like to ask a question about the statue in front of the courthouse: Does anyone know who the person is that is represented by the statue in the scenes in front of the courthouse with Michael Sarrazin and Sue Lyon? I believe the courthouse is in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Would appreciate any information anyone would have. Saw the movie many years ago, but really enjoyed it. George C. Scott is good as he always was, plus I remember thinking that Michael Sarrazin and Sue Lyon were also good in their roles. It is a nice romantic movie for teens or really for anyone of any age. But it is probably pretty dated now, by today's standards.
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7/10
Loved this 1967 classic
alohajoe-110 May 2006
This was a great year for movies and I think this kind of got lost in the shuffle. The year was the summer of love and movies like this fell by the way side. I saw it when it was released so I was only ten yrs. old and thought it was a great movie. This had Scott as the title character who really had a ball doing it. The rest of the cast was top notch making this great all the way thru and it showed a South that has all but disappeared. Lots of action a great score by Jerry Goldsmith and the dynamic between veteran Scott and new to the movies Michael Sarrazin who held his own quite well and went in in the 60s and early 70s and made some entertaining movies then seemed to have just vanished. Does anyone know what happened?? He seemed to have IT and the studios kept paring him with the big stars of time. Fun, fast paced a must see for film buffs of that era.
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9/10
Slightly over-the-top but true view of the South
MLVei26 February 2006
Aside from George C. Scott being an excellent actor, the other things which make this movie memorable are the wonderful supporting cast, locations, and how much of this film rings true to the South.

Check the entire cast and you will see so many wonderful character actors with such a variety of easily rememberable credits. Slim Pickens (one of my acting heroes!), Alice Ghostley, Woodrow Parfrey, Jack Albertson, Albert Salmi, etc., etc.

The Southern USA, I have always felt, is something of a combination of earnest, loving, somewhat gullible people beside various sorts of con-men. This movie portrays both aspects in a delightful, slightly over the top manner.

I live in Central Kentucky where this movie was shot, although it portrays North Carolina. The majority of sites still exist, and I have found most locations.

A wonderful, charming small film with several great messages hidden within the comedy and caricatures.
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10/10
THE SUPPORTING ACTORS MADE THIS A GREAT FILM!!
whpratt130 July 2003
The real reason this film was a great success, was the great supporting actors, who helped George C. Scott make his acting realistic. Sue Lyon(Bonnie Lee Packard); "Lolita" '62 with James Mason, showed her great beauty and sexual charm throughout the entire picture. Jack Albertson (Mr. Packard)(Star of "Poseidon Adventure '72 with Shelly Winters) tried to protect his daughter Bonnie everywhere she went and failed. Slim Pickens,(Jarvis Bates) veteran of the silver screen as a great cowboy in the early 20's 30's and 40's made this a great Classic film for generations in the future. The supporting actors need a great deal of credit for supporting a great actor, George C. Scott in making this film a great experience to view and enjoy.
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10/10
Great to see again
Dir-Nick22 June 1999
This is a classic con-man film with fantastic acting. The story line is excellent. It is worth it to re-watch.
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