A seasoned FBI agent pursues Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.
New Rochelle, the 1960s. High schooler Frank Abagnale Jr. idolizes his father, who's in trouble with the IRS. When his parents separate, Frank runs away to Manhattan with $25 in his checking account, vowing to regain dad's losses and get his parents back together. Just a few years later, the FBI tracks him down in France; he's extradited, tried, and jailed for passing more than $4,000,000 in bad checks. Along the way, he's posed as a Pan Am pilot, a pediatrician, and an attorney. And, from nearly the beginning of this life of crime, he's been pursued by a dour FBI agent, Carl Hanratty. What starts as cat and mouse becomes something akin to father and son.Written by
The story of Frank Abagnale, Jr.'s exploits had one of the longest and most difficult journeys from its first pitch to its eventual production. In 1981 it was originally announced that his story would be filmed and that Frank would be played by Dustin Hoffman. See more »
In the film, the term "unsub" is used to describe Abagnale. The term "unsub" wasn't used by the FBI until the middle to late 1980s, and became popular with the advent of the TV series by the same name, starring David Soul. See more »
Frank Abagnale Sr.:
Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.
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Top-notch, brilliantly crafted entertainment, rich with fascinating details, memorable incidents and engaging performances
What a terrific piece of film-making! From the charming animated title sequence (featuring John Williams's delightfully sneaky score) to the end, this is an enormously entertaining film from the gifted craftsman, Steven Spielberg, who is so damn good people take him for granted or resent his "manipulation," i.e. his seemingly effortless ability to create effective drama.
Leonardo DiCaprio (in his best performance that I've seen) stars as Frank Abagnale, Jr., a real-life teen-aged con man so spectacularly gifted that he was able to steal millions from various companies with forged checks, while successfully impersonating an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer, among other guises. He is chased by a rigidly rule-bound F.B.I. agent, Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), who is at first comically out-classed by the young improvising criminal genius; but the agent is steadfast and relentless and has the law on his side. The movie is filled with delightful supporting performances, starting with Hanks and continuing on with Nathalie Baye as the boy's selfish mother, Amy Adams as his immature fiancée and on down to the tiniest role. I'm especially grateful for the sympathetic part given to Christopher Walken, as the mischievous and spirited Abagnale Sr., whose life darkens as his fortunes fall. Walken is one of my favorite actors, but while I enjoy the occasional one-dimensional freak or villain he plays, I wish most of his parts were like this.
Spielberg's movie is rich with fascinating details and memorable incidents, while the script by Jeff Nathanson moves backward and forward in time to tell the story in the most engrossing way possible. This is top-notch entertainment.
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