Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988): A Tale of Two Thieves

In 1964, a most unusual film was released. Starring the improbable duo of David Niven and Marlon Brando, Bedtime Story is a comedy about rival con men who fight for territory by placing a bet on who can extract $25,000 from Shirley Jones's heiress first. Twenty-four years later, Bedtime Story was remade as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a riotous film that boasts the talents of Michael Caine and Steve Martin.

Surprisingly, the similarities between the two movies are many. The script is kept largely intact, right down to the French Riviera setting and the characters' names. The largest difference, of course, is the cast. The appearance of Brando in such an outrageous comedy doing such outlandish, hilarious things is the main reason why I find Bedtime Story so odd. I mean, this is a role that comedic legend Steve Martin would reprise! And they're doing practically the same schtick! It's just too wild.

Lawrence Jamieson (Niven/Caine) is an elegant, cultured thief who steals mo…

Love isn't easy for Rita and Gene in... Cover Girl (1944)

One of my favorite musicals has got to be Cover Girl, an underrated film that stars two of my favorite actors, Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. Oddly enough, Columbia had to be convinced to hire Kelly. In 1944, he wasn't yet known for his inventive routines and his skillful directing. Dennis Morgan was actually who Columbia wanted first, but producer Arthur Schwartz was able to convince studio head Harry Cohn that Kelly was right for the role, even after Cohn reportedly said "That tough Irish face! He can't be in the same frame as Rita, my Rita!" (Um, how dare you, sir. Gene was beautiful.) Gene was lured to the project by Schwartz, who promised that he could choreograph, something he hadn't been able to do at MGM. In the end, Schwartz's choice was validated and Kelly more than proved his mettle.
We open at a Brooklyn nightclub where a line of chorus girls appear from behind a curtain one by one as they sing "The Show Must Go On." One of these girls i…