Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Guy that inspired "Catch Me If You Can" a total fraud? This convincingly lays out the case...

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Dan C, May 4, 2021.

  1. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    So the con who inspired the book and movie "Catch Me If You Can" turns out to be a con? No way!

    I've always had this nagging voice in my head saying "there's gotta be more to this" whenever I hear his story.

    Now, I do love Spielberg's movie and know that he took some generous liberties with the original book. However, this writer says Frank Abignale took enormous liberties with the truth. His story was even debunked by local media decades ago, but none of it could overpower national media (mainly entertainment) and his ability to charm and weave a good story.

    This is a great read.
    Could this famous con man be lying about his story? A new book suggests he is

    dan c
    mike s in nyc likes this.
  2. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    So, a guy who lied is a liar.....:rolleyes:
    Next you'll tell me that "Confessions Of A Dangerous Minds" is NOT the true tale of how Chuck Barris used to be a CIA hit-man!
  3. keefer1970

    keefer1970 Metal, Movies, Beer!

    New Jersey
    Either way, Catch Me If You Can is still a great frickin movie.
  4. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    Agree, and also has one of my favorite John Williams scores. (snap snap...)

    dan c
  5. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    Barris was a showman, but Abignale's story is supposed to be one of redemption. He's really good, obviously. I saw him give a talk at an AARP-sponsored event on avoiding fraud and identity theft. It highly researched, very involved and quite entertaining. Problem is he's apparently still pulling off a con.

    dan c
  6. Simon A

    Simon A Arrr!

    So the mouse didn't turn the cream into butter? :eek:
    Linger63 and vince like this.
  7. Shambolicus

    Shambolicus It's 'cause I'm short, I know...

    Frank Abagnale certainly possesses the con-man’s innate ability to sense a good mark. Even today, Baton Rouge, Louisiana is home to some of the most kind and open-hearted, yet extraordinarily gullible folk I’ve ever encountered, making it fertile ground for scammers of all kinds :rolleyes:. Unfortunately - as charming cons like Abignale are only too well aware - the aforementioned traits exist concurrently in many people’s personalities.

    Real-life issues aside, Catch Me If You Can is a fun movie, one that I can get easily “sucked into” watching again and again, should I happen across it while channel surfing.
    guy incognito and Dan C like this.
  8. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Troy, MI, USA
    I watched an interview with Abganale not too long after the movie came out. He said that, while some of the events of the movie were based on things he really did, most of it was made up and exaggerated. He also said there were articles written about him that were also exaggerated, though he claims it wasn't him doing the exaggerating.

    Not sure who to believe here. I could see where he was making crazy claims for some free advertising. I could also see a human interest reporter somewhere jazzing up his story to make it more interesting, and that became the official record.
  9. Scowl

    Scowl Well-Known Member

    Portland, OR
    Read Abagnale's autobiography that the film is based on. It has far more detail on the things he claimed he did. If he didn't do everything he claims then at least he come up with plausible and detailed ways of how they could have been done.
    Bluesman Mark likes this.
  10. Speedmaster

    Speedmaster Well-Known Member

    The Netherlands
    Just like the main character of The Irishman. Even the truth of these guys contains 80% lies. And filmmakers and writers eat it up
    guy incognito and Shambolicus like this.
  11. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    One of the things that struck me about the movie is that Frank's tales were never too outrageous -- he dressed as a pilot but never flew a plane; he pretended to be a doctor but never performed surgery; etc.

    It was as if the stories were specifically constructed to fool people without generating too much suspicion. In other words, they're exactly the kind of lies that a con man would come up with.
    Scowl, jbmcb, guy incognito and 4 others like this.
  12. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    I concur...

    dan c
    guy incognito, Simon A and IndyTodd like this.
  13. SgtPepper1983

    SgtPepper1983 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    I must admit I would love it if the con man is a con himself.
    As been mentioned before, at least he inspired a modern classic!
  14. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    This is reminding me of that one Sherlock episode, which I won't spoiler here...
  15. Juan Matus

    Juan Matus Reformed Audiophile

  16. As opposed to another famous imposter who had a movie made about him, Ferdinand Demara, who actually did perform several surgeries while posing as a military surgeon.

    Ferdinand Waldo Demara - Wikipedia
  17. Scowl

    Scowl Well-Known Member

    Portland, OR
    In the book, these two things had suspiciously added drama. For example, he claimed that one time a pilot asked him to take over for him and fortunately he knew how to turn on the autopilot (no pilot would ever hand the plane over to a guy in the jumpseat). When he was pretending to be a doctor, he claimed that there were a few times that doctors asked for his opinion and he simply concurred with them, and I recall there was one case when he nearly fainted. Yes, they sound suspiciously manufactured for added entertainment.
    Dan C likes this.

Share This Page