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10 Best Con Artist Movies

Dated : September, 25, 2011  By
When one makes a movie on a con artist, one has to be very precise with what he his dealing wth. Because there have been so many instances where a filmmaker wanted to portray the con man in a good light, and the audiences just hated it. And the biggest problem to make a con artist movie is that, every con artist will do one thing, con people, so what will the con artist do new, and how will he become something different. And if we see the movie history these con movies have been a very good thing at the academy awards, as whenever a good con movie came, it surely won many awards including the precious academy award. The list here is not a ranked list, each and every movie listed here are one of the best and ranking them is really very difficult so all these movies are number one and surely the top 10 best con artist movies.

“The Sting”

Firstly if a movie has won seven Oscars, the movie will at least be somewhat good. And The Sting was exceptional for that matter of fact. A cult classic movie about a con artist told in a very stylish way. A movie that you can watch any day any time one wants. The Sting Plot Outline: In 1930s Chicago, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

The Sting The Sting

Director: George Roy Hill Writer: David S. Ward Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Robert Shaw

”Paper Moon”

This movie had Ryan O’Neal and real-life daughter Tatum as a father-or may be may not be-daughter in the movie and was surely a masterpiece. A movie which got many nominations but won only one. But the performances from this movie were amazing and also the plot was very engaging and can hold anyone till the end and entertain him/her to the core. Paper Moon Plot Outline: During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.

Paper moon Paper Moon

Director: Peter Bogdanovich Writers: Joe David Brown (novel), Alvin Sargent (screenplay) Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal and Madeline Kahn

“The Hustler”

It is a sport movie that can be one of the best sport movie ever. It is also a con artist movie that can be termed as one of the best con movie. The movie was nominated for nine Oscars and it just won two. But that does not speak for how good the movie was and surely Paul Newman looked very handsome but he did something else also and that was that he single-handedly reprised a con man living in three decades: the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, and his performance was really good. The Hustler Plot Outline: An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match. Director: Robert Rossen Writers: Sidney Carroll (screenplay), Robert Rossen (screenplay), and 1 more credit Stars: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason and Piper Laurie

“The Grifters”

Most of the con artist movies that I have seen are have a very light-hearted premise. They try to be a little playful and these movies are never sadistic. But this movie is dead serious and the movie really can be termed as a deadly movie. Again the movie had some amazing performances. The Grifters Plot Outline: A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend--both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.

The Grifters The Grifters

Director: Stephen Frears Writers: Jim Thompson (novel), Donald E. Westlake (screenplay) Stars: Anjelica Huston, John Cusack and Annette Bening

“A Fish Called Wanda”

What will happen if you are a con artist and when you are trying to rob a bank, you get into a messy situation and then it goes crazy and then how it goes on to become one of the most entertaining movies is really fun to watch. A very good movie to watch. A Fish Called Wanda Plot Outline: In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to double cross each other for the loot. A Fish Called Wanda Director: Charles Crichton, Writers: John Cleese (story), Charles Crichton (story) Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline

“House of Games”

A very serious movie directed by a first timer who was a veteran in theatre direction. Mr. David Mamet was new to films but with his first movie he proved his mettle and what a movie on the life of a con-artist. Amazing direction and good performances. House of Games Plot Outline: A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led my a smooth-talking grifter into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men. Director: David Mamet Writers: David Mamet (screenplay), Jonathan Katz (story), and 1 more credit Stars: Lindsay Crouse, Joe Mantegna and Mike Nussbaum


A movie that keeps taking twists and turns. Once you feel , now nothing can happen and other twists turns up. Well the script has been written by William Goldman, creator of “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid” and “The Princess Bride,”. Yes William Goldman and he has done a fabulous job. And if just the writer does not impress you, the story surely will but the cast will surely make you watch this very entertaining movie. Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster have acted in this movie and they have done a superb job.


Plot Outline: Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief. Director: Richard Donner Writers: Roy Huggins (television series Maverick), William Goldman Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner

“Catch Me If You Can”

A movie that has Tom Hanks, Leonardo Di Caprio and the movie has been directed by none other than Steven Spielberg. Yes a con artist movie directed by Steven Spielberg. A very entertaining flick. The movie was nominated for two Oscars. A movie driven by the acting performances as well as very well directed movie. Catch Me If You Can Plot Outline: A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. Director: Steven Spielberg Writers: Jeff Nathanson (screenplay), Frank Abagnale Jr. (book) Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”

A con artist movie that entertains you and makes you think at the same time. Steve Martin and Michael Caine team up for this movie and the movie has been directed by Frank Oz. This movie has been remade in India and if I am not mistaken from what I have seen in the promos. The Rascals movie that is coming out in Bollywood will be a scene to scene copy of this flick. As we know David Dhawan is directing Rascals and he had the audacity to remake Hitch and several other Hollywood movies and claimed they were original. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Plot Outline: Lawrence and Freddie are con-men; big-time and small time respectively. They unsuccessfully attempt to work together only to find that this town (on the French Mediterranean coast) aint big enough for the two of them. They agree to a "loser leaves" bet. The bet brings out the best/worse in the two. A very Interesting twist at the end. Director: Frank Oz Writers: Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro Stars: Steve Martin, Michael Caine and Glenne Headly

“The Third Man”

The Third Man has Orson Welles, what else do you want. A very charming movie about a very handsome con artist but don’t assume that this is a lighthearted con artist movie. It is a very serious movie with a post World War 2 backdrop. A very enjoyable movie till the end. The Third Man Plot Outline: Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime. Director: Carol Reed Writers: Graham Greene (by), Graham Greene (screenplay) Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten and Alida Valli

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