The Flim-Flam Man (1967)

Genres - Drama  |   Release Date - Aug 22, 1967 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

An entertaining con man flick, The Flim-Flam Man is a good film, if not a classic. What sets it slightly apart is the commanding performance by George C. Scott in the title role. Scott, made up to appear two decades older than he was at the time, is a hoot in the role, clearly relishing the opportunity to cut loose and play in a wild comedy. It's the kind of role that requires a "take charge" actor, someone who will hold the screen whether indulging in an extravagant gesture or merely a sly wink, and Scott comes through like gangbusters. He also needs an avuncular quality, which Scott supplies, and an ease at switching into believable "folksiness," which he does equally well. He even manages to work up some necessary chemistry with Michael Sarrazin, quite an accomplishment considering how underwhelming the actor is here. Sarrazin's non-performance, as well as his lack of chemistry with Sue Lyon, damages things a bit; fortunately, an army of excellent supporting players, including Alice Ghostley, Jack Albertson, Strother Martin and Slim Pickens, are around to take up the slack. Especially noteworthy among the support is Harry Morgan, who even gives Scott a run for his money on occasion. Flim-Flam's screenplay wanders a bit too much, and it's never totally convincing; but Scott's turn more than makes up for that.