December Movie Marathon: Cons and Heists

I love movies about grifters (con men, in North American parlance). I just do. There's something of the lovable rogue archetype to it, of course, but it also appeals to my puzzle-solving side, crafting the perfect plan, seeing it fall apart, improvising over the bad spots. And I generally like films that deftly lie to you (because your POV is limited, not because the movie cheats), then reveal what was really happening. I love shows like Hustle and Leverage (and Mission: Impossible because, come on, that's about con jobs more than it is about spies). I've seen David Mamet's entire oeuvre, and plenty more besides. Con stories and heists too, which I consider to be part of the con genre. So many, I wondered if I would be able to finds 31 con films of good quality for my now-annual December Movie Marathon(2014's, 2015's, 2016's).

After accidentally managing to watch a horror flick a day in October, I thought maybe I didn't need to marathon in December at all, but I can't help myself. I did all this research into cinematic cons and heists, I've got to go through with it.

So here then is my list of thematically relevant movies, in seven broad categories.
Fridays: HEISTS
Le Cercle Rouge
The Italian Job (2003)
The Score
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
The Bank Job
I Love You Phillip Morris
Quick Change
The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
Sundays: CONS
Nine Queens
Paper Moon
Six Degrees of Separation
Smoke and Mirrors
Mondays: TRAINS (and Christmas)
Deidra and Laney Rob a Train
The First Great Train Robbery
The Great Train Robbery 2-part mini-series
Bad Santa (on Christmas day)
The Grifters
Inside Man
The Lookout
Wednesdays: CLASSICS
The Killing
The Lady Eve
The Long, Hot Summer
Thursdays: GAMBLES
Rotten Dirty Scoundrels
White Men Can't Jump

I do have back-ups if some of these turn out to be unavailable, like Purple Noon, Boiler Room and The Hoax. Maybe you have other suggestions, and maybe I haven't seen them yet.

Catch the action on Twitter and on each subsequent Sunday.

Which isn't to say I've abandoned my Doctor Who Movie Titles project, that's going on too. And oHOTmu or NOT's DJ Nath marathons holiday-themed films every December, so I'm likely to catch a few of those as well.


Matthew E said...

Ah, let’s see, what are some others?

Ocean’s Eleven, etc.
Kelly’s Heroes
Tower Heist
The Real McCoy
The League of Gentlemen (the old British black-and-white one)
The Spanish Prisoner
The Sting
The Hot Rock

This sounds like fun!

tomg said...

I'd like to recommend 3 Korean con films you might enjoy:

The Divine Move

Siskoid said...

I'm taking notes, guys! You managed to drop some I've never even heard of.

The ones I've already seen: Ocean’s Eleven, etc., Tower Heist, The Spanish Prisoner, The Sting, and Thieves.

Siskoid said...

And when I say seen, I also mean "own", even the Korean one :)

Maybe I should preempt some other suggestions by listing other con/heist movies I've seen, perhaps as recommendations for readers looking for good con/heist movie? Asterisked movies are favorites.

The Art of the Steal*
Matchstick Men
Catch Me if You Can
The Brothers Bloom
A Fish Called Wanda*
Sexy Beast*
Magic in the Moonlight
American Hustle*
House of Games*
The Hustler*
The Color of Money*
Now You See Me
The Producers
The Italian Job (original)*
Reservoir Dogs*
The Town
The Usual Suspects
Point Break
Jackie Brown*
The Thomas Crown Affair (original)
Bottle Rocket
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Logan Lucky*
Fast Five
Out of Sight*
Three Kings*
Die Hard movies
City on Fire

Off the top of my head, you get the point.

Toby'c said...

Of yours, I’ve seen and enjoyed Inside Man, The Killing, The Lady Eve and Paper Moon. Also Rififi, which I didn’t really care for.

As for recommendations, maybe Gettin’ Square if you can find it (2003, Sam Worthington, David Wenham and Timothy Spall).

Mike W. said...

Yeah, I was going to mention the various Great Train Robbery movies, specifically the 1978 one with Sean Connery. I haven't seen the movie, but I loved the book (by Michael Crichton) even though it plays fast and loose with actual history.

There's also a 1975 movie called Murph the Surf (aka Live a Little, Steal A Lot) which is based on a true story about a guy named Jack Murphy who stole a bunch of jewels from the American Museum of Natural History.

MichaelT said...

How to Steal a Million (Peter O'Toole & Audrey Hepburn) -- Romance, Classic
Sleuth -- Scoundrel, Heist
The Great Muppet Caper! -- Heist
Get Shorty -- Scoundrel, Romance, Heist
Bowfinger -- Con
Le Grand Blond and Retour du Grand Blond -- Scoundrel, Romance, Con, Classic


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