Movie Review: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS was directed by Frank Oz from a screenplay by Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning and stars Michael Caine, Steve Martin, Glenne Headly, Anton Rodgers, Barbara Harris, Frances Conroyand Ian McDiarmid.

In the south of France, two rival con men — suave and sophisticated Lawrence (Michael Caine) and third-rate American hustler Freddy (Steve Martin) — make a wager. The first one to extract $50,000 from the next woman they meet wins … and the other leaves town. The bet is on, the stakes are high and the blows are low in this hysterically funny, ruthlessly witty, dirty, rotten comedy!

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels takes place on the French Riviera and follows Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine), a highbrow con artist who preys on riches of wealthy women. There’s also Freddy Benson (Steve Martin), a small-time trickster from America who’s just looking for someone to pay for his next meal and maybe weasle a few bucks out of them. Freddy gets the attention of Lawrence who’s amused by his simple tactics and the next thing he knows he’s teaching Freddy how to amp up his con game and move it to the next level. The thing is, Lawrence is teaching him so he can get rid of him because Freddy is unwelcomed competition for the sophisticated con man.

There’s also the Jackal, a mysterious con artist of almost legendary status who the men have only heard about but this is the goal the both want to reach. What happens is, Freddy goes into training and the two begin to lure in several new prospects for them to cash in on. The two men end up meeting their next potential victim, Janet Colgate (Glenne Headly), a naive American heiress, so the two sets their eyes on her in a winner takes all competition. Simply put, the winner gets to stay and the loser leaves town. It becomes an outlandish game of who can win Janet’s heart and fortune but what Lawrence and Freddy realize in the end is that Janet has been playing them the entire time because she’s the Jackal.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the all-new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. This Shout Select release was remastered from a brand-new 2K scan. The picture and sound quality for this high-def upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. 

Bottom line is, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is one of my favorite comedies from the 80s and it’s a movie that makes me laugh every time I watch it because of two key scenes featuring Steve Martin who poses as the mentally challenged brother Ruprecht. The fun story about these two characters from different walks of the con game who accidentally meet and become rivals is what drives this movie and the performances by Michael Caine and Steven Martin is comedy gold. The two actors play off of each other as if they’re a seasoned comedic duo, and then when you add Glenne Headly’s character, things get even sillier between the two men. As far as Frank Oz goes, he’s mostly known as a master puppeteer and the voice of Yoda but he’s directed quite a few fan favorites over the years, movies like The Dark Crystal and Little Shop of Horrors, but this 1988 con-men comedy will always be my favorite. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is now available on Shout Select Blu-ray.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 110 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include a new indepth interview with the writer, some audio commentary with the director, a vintage featurette and three trailers.

  • NEW Interview with Writer Dale Launer (23:25)
  • Audio Commentary with Director Frank Oz
  • Vintage Featurette (06:47)
  • Official Trailer (01:57)
  • Teaser Trailer (01:04)
  • Teaser Trailer with Director’s Commentary (01:04)
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