Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

"To be with another woman that is French. To be caught that is American." Inspector Andre

"To be with another woman that is French. To be caught that is American." Inspector Andre


Dirty Rotten Scoundrel (1988) is filled with rotten apples that are deliciously served.

Directed by Frank Oz.

Starring Michael Caine, Steve Martin and Glenne Headly.

Take three great actors, a madcap plot, an intelligent, well written script, the French Riviera and you have comedy heaven. The movie has a modest pace that gets its high octane humor from the marvelous chemistry between all three lead actors. The plot twists are imaginative and surprising. The story gets you laughing as you not only anticipate what will happen, but you can't wait to see how  the crazy scenes are accomplish. I found myself laughing from beginning to end.

Great comedy requires impeccable timing and surprising plot twists. This film has an over abundance of both. As an actor I was amazed at the chemistry between Michael Caine and Steven Martin. They played off each other wonderfully and allowed the other to take the reins of the scene as needed. This helped them, so as not to overwhelm each other at any given moment. There is a fine line, especially in comedy of not upstaging your scene partner. Neither Martin nor Caine ever crossed that mark. When Glenne steps into the picture she brings a soft touch to every scene she is in. It's as though she has a secret that she enjoys keeping to herself and the two boys find her irresistible.

The scene below perfectly illustrates how as an audience member you know what is about to happen is going to be hilarious and you can't wait to see what the story has in store for you. Now the actors take the scene and elevate it to slapstick nirvana with their comedic timing and physicality. As an audience member you know how the scene will end from the moment it starts. The film, EuroTrip (2004) has a similar approach in cluing the audience in on the joke early in a scene and then surprising them with an uproarious conclusion. This film should be in your library. Enjoy!

Trivia - The young lady with long dark hair dancing next to Michael Caine is his real-life daughter, Natasha.