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Recently, I came to the conclusion that films about con artists are usually better than average, with a few greats thrown in. Some of the movies I like are The Sting,Catch Me if you Can, The Grifters, The Flim Flam Man, Paper Moon, The House of Games, The Great Imposter,and even some periferal titles like Quiz Show. Any more suggestions? Thanx. George

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Slappy2500,

 

I really like many of these films, as well. I'll have to put some thought to this and get you some more titles, but one recent film I really enjoyed in this genre, if such a genre exists, is David Mamet's THE SPANISH PRISONER. I see you included Mamet's earlier film, 'House of Games,' which is so deviously nasty, it was a joy to watch and I can't believe it wasn't more popular at the time of it's release. When I saw 'House of Games,' at my favorite Arthouse theater back in the late 80's, the theater erupted in applause when the film was over. I love when that occurs.

 

Of course, there were people applauding at the end of COLD MOUNTAIN when I saw it last year, as well. It was OK, but applause-worthy? Anyway, the 'Spanish Prisoner' came out in '97 to great critical acclaim, but as happens with most of Mamet's flicks, it didn't do big box-office. I think it's a great little film, that was even better when I saw it again on dvd. It stars Steve Martin (who gives a tremendous performance), The Underrated Campbell Scott (I thought 2002's 'Roger Dodger' was fantastic), Ben Gazzara, Felicity Huffman, Rebecca Pidgeon, and the great Ricky Jay, the self-confessed con-artist who seems to turn up in all of Mamet's films.

 

It's a terrifically complex 'con' film that would take a while to explain, and would maybe give too much away. If you've seen it, you know this. If you haven't, and you liked 'House of Games,' give THE SPANISH PRISONER a look.

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I love con man movies, and found The Spanish Prisoner to be fascinating. Here's a few more from the serious to the comic to the musical, but mostly about guys on the con who find themselves going straight. Yeah, there's usually a dame involved in that decision:

 

The Great McGinty (1940)

Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

Nobody Lives Forever (1946)

The Music Man (1964)

A Big Hand for the Little Lady(1966)

 

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One of my absolute favorite movies in this genre is "The Usual Suspects" (1995). Kevin Spacey (who I think is one of the best actors out there today) is FABULOUS in this movie. Easily one of the best movies of the 90's......strong writing and strong cast.

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I only could watch about 1/2 hour of "House of Games" because I think Lindsey Crouse is about one of the most boring people that was ever in movies. She had one expression and that is not a pleasant one. I guess that's why she's not in movies anymore. And Joe Mantegna as the leading man, yuck!!!

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That's so funny you should say that about Crouse. My wife and I started watching this film a few years back and her acting in this kept bugging the hell out of us. We did finish the film and did not care to see it again. We have seen her in several other films and she was just fine (I don't think she was ever the lead in these other films). One of us would always say "Oh, thats that actress from the con movie." Maybe her job in that film wasn't so "bad" - we've seen that film once and remember her from it.

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