Director: Frank Oz
Writer: Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning
Stars: Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly, Anton Rodgers, Barbara Harris
Countries: United States
Wealthy native Brit Lawrence Jamieson, living in Beaumont-sur-Mer on the French Riviera, earns most of his money through big cons on wealthy unsuspecting women. With the help of his associates, corrupt Police Inspector Andre, who provides him most of his intel, and his butler Arthur, he pulls scams such as pretending to be a foreign deposed Prince who needs money to finance a secret war to liberate his people. Beaumont-sur-Mer, and thus his world, is invaded by brash American Freddy Benson, another con man whose targets are also wealthy unsuspecting women. Lawrence believes Freddy is the Jackal, a con man whose true identity is unknown, but who is known to be working his way through Europe. While Lawrence works on thousands of dollars per scam, Freddy works only on tens or if he is lucky hundreds of dollars. Lawrence’s efforts to get Freddy out of his territory are unsuccessful, so when Freddy figures out that Lawrence is a con man like he is, he decides to blackmail Lawrence to work under him to learn the art of the sophisticated and thus earn more lucrative con. Eventually, Lawrence and Freddy have a difference in how to operate their joint cons, so they issue each other an ultimatum: the person who is able to con a mark out of fifty thousand dollars first will get the French Riviera as their territory, with the other having to leave forever. Who they choose is naive and slightly bumbling American “soap Queen” Janet Colgate, who has just arrived in the area. The nature of how each tries to get the fifty thousand dollars from Janet changes over time, each needing to play off the other’s con. But their focus may change with more information learned about the situation, as well as some external factors they did not anticipate.