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The Swindle (1997) - Plot Summary Poster

(1997)

Plot

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Summaries

  • Betty and Victor are a pair of scam artists. One day Betty brings in Maurice, a treasurer of a multinational company. Maurice is due to transfer 5 millions francs out of Switzerland, and Betty is convinced he plans to steal that money. On whose side is Betty - Victor's, Maurice's or only her own?

  • The smalltime swindlers Elizabeth "Betty" and Victor make a living by cheating naive people. After swindling a salesman of garden tools in the French Riviera, Betty travels on vacation alone and schedule a next scheme in ten days in a congress for dentists in Sils Maria. However Betty arrives at the hotel with Maurice Biagini, who is the treasurer of a company that is traveling cuffed to a wallet with five-million francs. She tells Victor that she has the intentions of stealing his money and Victor plots a scheme using the naivety of Maurice. But soon the con artists have to face the dangerous associates of Maurice.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • The film begins with Betty (Isabelle Huppert) flirting at a gambling table with a traveling businessman on a convention and manages to get him to ask her up to his room. Once there the man falls asleep, knocked out by the drug Betty slipped into his drink before they left the bar. When Victor (Michel Serrault) arrives the two take money from the man's wallet and forge a check to a fake company it becomes clear that Victor and Betty make a living fleecing unsuspecting businessman and conventioneers at casinos and resort hotels in France, always stealing enough to make a profit but never so much that it puts hardship on the victim. This way it is embarrassing for the victim to report the crime and they don't miss the money so much. Betty and Victor have a comfortable relationship, he being old enough to be her father. When Betty states she needs a few days off before their next hit on a group of visiting Dentists, the two agree to meet at another resort to complete their next crime. Betty calls a few days later to say that she has already arrived at the planned location and has set up new mark Maurice Biagini (François Cluzet), an international banker. This is something Victor is uncomfortable with, especially because it includes stealing 5 million Swiss Francs for a crime syndicate. When they manage to switch off a metal brief case with one they have substituted, everything looks like they succeeded, until a gangster Monsieur K (Jean-François Balmer), looking for his money comes calling and Betty and Victor must do some fast thinking and talking.

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