Catch Me If You Can

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Movie Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 motion picture set in the 1960s. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and adapted by Jeff Nathanson loosely from the book by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding.

The movie states that it depicts the true life story of Abagnale; the movie diverges somewhat from the real events as reported in Abagnale's book on his exploits.

Tagline: The true story of a real fake.


Movie plot

The film dramatizes the true story of a teenaged con man who stole over $4 million through forgery and other frauds, throughout a crime career lasting six years from 1963 to 1969. The film diverges from the protagonist's actual life story for dramatic effect. According to the movie, Frank's impersonations typically served to gain him temporary prestige, as an airline pilot, doctor, or lawyer, as well as aiding him in cashing forged checks. He was caught by the FBI in 1969, and reduced his sentence by agreeing to assist FBI's bank fraud division by detecting forgeries and advising on countermeasures.

Frank William Abagnale Jr. is the son of Frank William Abagnale and Paula Abagnale. Paula Abagnale was born in Montrichard, France.


The movie was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (John Williams) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Christopher Walken).


Comparison with the book

Compared to the actual events described in Abagnale's book, Catch Me If You Can, the movie can be described as loosely based on true events. The name of the protagonist and some of his exploits are the same as in real life, but the manner in which he achieved them has been changed. The movie never claimed to be a documentary.

One example of the changes in the movie include Abagnale's promiscuity. In the movie, Abagnale had one or two liaisons. In real life, Abagnale had numerous liaisons with dozens of women he encountered while in his false guises (airline pilot, doctor, etc.). Abagnale showed no remorse for his "love 'em and leave 'em" attitude towards most of these women, stating that they were promiscuous themselves and had, more or less, thrown themselves at him and weren't interested in long-term relationships anyway.

While posing as a doctor, Abagnale left the hospital voluntarily in the movie. In real life, he was "fired" after almost letting a baby die of oxygen deprivation (Abagnale had no idea what the nurse meant when she said there was a "blue baby"). Abagnale was able to fake his way through most of his duties before the final one, by letting the orderlies handle most of the cases that came in during his rather late night shift, such as setting broken bones and other such tasks.

One of his exploits covered in the movie, forging checks in France, shows Abagnale running the checks off himself. In real life, he had the father of one of his girlfriends print the checks. The father owned a print shop, but had no idea that he was printing unauthorized documents. Abagnale had given him a sample (real) Pan Am paycheck and the man duplicated them, with different numbers, but otherwise identical to the original paycheck (Abagnale told him Pan Am was thinking of switching check printers and wanted a sample run). The "sample run" he provided Abagnale contained 10,000 checks. Unable to use so many checks, Abagnale kept a small portion and discarded the rest.

The movie also dramatizes the capture of Abagnale in France (outside the aforementioned print shop). The movie depicts this event with dozens of police and patrol cars appearing, seemingly, out of the ether and descending upon Abagnale. The French police are depicted as overexcited and intent on shooting Abagnale should he make the slightest attempt to resist; the FBI agent is on the spot to talk Abagnale into surrendering. Abagnale in real life was captured in a French airport by two uniformed police officers. Though he tried to con his way out of it, he was arrested with little excitement.

In the movie, Abagnale becomes bored with his 9-to-5 job after his release from prison and goes off on another exploit. There is no evidence of it in the book (the book ends as Abagnale evades capture by the FBI after being deported from Sweden back to the US). It probably didn't happen at all, but is another invention of the movie makers.

The relationship between Abagnale and the FBI agent in the movie is never explored in the book. The book reveals no connection with any one agent at all.

Films and other works with the same title

External links

Template:Steven Spielberg's films

de:Catch Me If You Can fr:Arrte-moi si tu peux it:Prova a prendermi ja:キャッチ・ミー・イフ・ユー・キャン ro:Prinde-mă! Dacă poţi! zh:捉智雙雄


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