Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Critics Consensus

A buoyant, clever update of the conman flick Bedtime Story, with plenty of comedic jousting resulting from a winning chemistry between Michael Caine and Steve Martin.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 37

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 48,704

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Movie Info

Con artist Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) is a longtime resident of a luxurious coastal resort, where he enjoys the fruits of his deceptions -- that is, until a competitor, Freddy Benson (Steve Martin), shows up. When the new guy's lowbrow tactics impinge on his own work, Jamieson resolves to get rid of him. Confident of his own duplicitous talents, Jamieson challenges Benson to a winner-takes-all competition: whoever swindles their latest mark first can stay, while the other must leave town.

Cast & Crew

Steve Martin
Freddy Benson
Michael Caine
Lawrence Jamieson
Glenne Headly
Janet Colgate
Anton Rodgers
Inspector Andre
Barbara Harris
Fanny Eubanks
Dana Ivey
Mrs. Reed
Meagen Fay
Lady from Oklahoma
Frank Oz
Director
Dale Launer
Screenwriter
Stanley Shapiro
Screenwriter
Paul Henning
Screenwriter
Charles Hirschhorn
Executive Producer
Dale Launer
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Critic Reviews for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (4)

  • The writers, Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning, have brightened up their 1964 script in collaboration with Dale Launer with some caustic new gags and a more effective ending; and Frank Oz's direction keeps the comedy zapping along at a fine pace.

    December 31, 2017 | Full Review…
  • A wonderfully crafted, absolutely charming remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story.

    December 31, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • There's little enough to keep you occupied as Caine and Martin go through their comic set pieces in workaday fashion while the film moves mechanically from one contrived situation to the next.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Their comic methods are different, but from their first unequal encounter until the very last in a series of twist endings, Mr. Caine and Mr. Martin work together with an exuberant ease that's a joy to watch.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…
  • There is a slightly perfunctory air in the way the story unreels as though it's all been done before. Nevertheless, Caine and Martin make a great double act.

    August 28, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    George Perry

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Martin, the most eloquent of physical clowns -- the Baryshnikov of comedy -- is at his most inspired here. He parodies feelings, attitudes, states of mind that one would think were exempt from it, and his caricature of dapper suavity is killingly precise.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

  • Nov 24, 2014
    I've never been able to shake the feeling that, given the talent involved, the film should be a lot better than it is. However it does have it's moments (Ruprecht is an inspired comic creation) and Caine and Martin make a great duo.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 12, 2014
    Steve Martin and Michael Caine are Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in this hilarious Frank Oz comedy. When confidence man Freddy Benson moves in on another con man's territory the two have a competition to see which of them can con $50,000 from an American heiress first. The con jobs are outrageously funny and full of twists as the two con man try to outdo each other. Martin and Caine are hysterical together, and give outstanding performances. And, Frank Oz's directing does an impressive job at enhancing the comedy so that the jokes hit just right. An incredibly fun and entertaining film, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels delivers non-stop laughs.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2014
    I probably shouldn't have taken so long to see this film. Caine and Martin are at their absolute finest and the comedy is first class. Worth a review even if you saw it "in the day"
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2012
    This movie is a lot of fun in spite of some contrivances with the plot. But it's never offensively stupid in any way whatsoever and the cast is excellent, particularly Michael Caine. Steve Martin is also good, but Mr. Caine is the real star. One of the problems of the movie is that the first half of it isn't that funny. It all, thankfully, picks up in the second half with some very funny moments. Overall a fun movie, it's not the best comedy out there but it will keep you entertained.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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