Tuesday, May 26, 2009

THE FLIM-FLAM MAN (1967) - Irvin Kershner

This sentimentalized portrait of the career con man as lovable rural rapscallion may be a far cry from Mamet's Chicago Land fuck-or-be-fucked ethos, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't sit still for a respectable Ricky Jay remake.

George C. Scott plays the titular "flim-flam man" on the run from a series of suckered southerners who meets up with an AWOL army boy on the run from the MPs. After a lucrative game of dime store three card monte, Scott takes the army boy under his wing as a shill and shows him the con man ropes. But it turns out the boy has an honest streak...and a hard-on for one of his marks (Lolita's own Sue Lyon).

A few small complications and smaller cons ensue, none of which you haven't seen before in movies like House of Games or TV shows like Hustle. But sometimes even watching even the oldest of cons unfold can be entertaining enough, and Empire Strikes Back director Kershner certainly doesn't much mess with the formula. All in all, a decent way to be fleeced of 2 hours, at least until Ricky Jay gets his starring role.

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