Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Steve Martin’s Best Movie?

We revisit the classic con-artist comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine.

Last Updated on June 3, 2024

One of the classic movie tropes of studio comedies, and especially in the 70s and 80s- is the ever-clever “slobs vs snobs” tale. You know, the blue-collar underdog against a preppy, often annoyingly sophisticated social elite. Movies like Revenge of the Nerds, Animal House, Wayne’s World, or Caddyshack make this the crux of their stories and often use multiple characters in each category to drive the shenanigans all the way up. But in some cases, a movie will tell the story with just one slob and one snob- and crank them both to their absolute extremes- and then throw in a heist because… we love that stuff. 

In today’s episode of Revisited, we’re going to be talking about 1988’s buddy comedy classic- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. This movie stars Steve Martin and (the now retired) Michael Caine as two con artists who make an old western-style bet to run each other out of town. The bet? Whichever con can scam a rich tourist out of $50,000 first gets to keep the cash and claim the quaint French Riviera all to themselves. If the plot of this movie sounds familiar, that’s because this movie is a remake of the 1966 film called Bedtime Story starring Marlon Brando in the Steve Martin role (what????) and David Niven in the Michael Caine part (ok, that at least makes sense). There was also a 2019 remake starring Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway called The Hustle.  

Although I am a fan of each of these films, I would be lying if I said that this version was anything less than my favorite. I mean, we’re talking Steve Martin and Michael Bloody Caine here. So, if you want to watch an incredible nostalgic movie but you’ve only got 15 minutes to do it- then step into my time capsule once again as we flash back to 1988 and watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

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