We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about identity theft and other scams. While it's unfortunate that there are people who spend their lives thinking of ways to take our money, there's also something fascinating about these stories. Con games have made great subjects for movies, and it's possible that they even make us a little bit smarter about how these people work. Or maybe we're suckers for these movies for the same reason people are suckers for cons: everyone loves a good story. Here are five irresistible films about grifts, swindles, scams, and cons. Want to have your own con artist film festival? You can compare online DVD rental services right here on Next Advisor.
1. The Sting: It's hard not to love Robert Redford and Paul Newman as they plot their elaborate gambling con. Since they're grifting the gangsters, they're a rare bread of heroic con men.
2. The Spanish Prisoner: David Mamet's elaborate shell-game of a movie will have you guessing and second-guessing until the very end. Plus, it co-stars Ricky Jay, a professional expert on the art of separating people from their hard-earned (and ill-gotten) goods.
3. Paper Moon: This movie covers the small-time cons of an itinerant bible salesman and a young girl he can't quite get rid of. Between the obituary scams and the swapped dollar bills, there's plenty of emotional blackmail too.
4. House of Games: This list could be filled with nothing but David Mamet movies, but we'll keep it to two. House of Games layers con upon con. In fact it invented a scam that was later tried in the real world. Look for the "bill in the envelope" scene, created by Mamet's partner-in-crime, Ricky Jay.
5. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: A twisted take on the con, this comedy stars Steve Martin and Michael Caine as a pair of seemingly mismatched swindlers. The film has plenty of twists and turns as it seeks to prove that "nice guys finish last."
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