Matchstick Men

Synopsis: Meet Roy and Frank, a couple of professional small-time con artists. What Roy, a veteran of the grift, and Frank, his ambitious protégé, are swindling these days are "water filtration systems," bargain-basement water filters bought by unsuspecting people who pay ten times their value in order to win bogus prizes like cars, jewelry and overseas vacations--which they never collect. These scams net the flim-flam men a few hundred here, another thousand there, which eventually adds up to a lucrative partnership. Roy's private life, however, is not so successful. An obsessive-compulsive agoraphobe with no personal relationships to call his own, Roy is barely hanging on to his wits, and when his idiosyncrasies begin to threaten his criminal productivity he's forced to seek the help of a psychoanalyst just to keep him in working order. While Roy is looking for a quick fix, his therapy begets more than he bargained for: the revelation that he has a teenage daughter--a child whose existence he
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Ridley Scott
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min

One, two, three.

One, two, three.

-Well, congratulations.

-Excuse me?

You`re a guaranteed winner of one

of three fabulous prizes.

-Have you ever won anything major before?

-No, never.

-Well, you have now.

-Oh, my God.

-Are you kidding?

-No, it`s confirmed.

Are you sure? Okay, what did l win?

Either the Chevy Blazer, the Paris--

-Do you have a water filtration system?

-One of them faucet filters? No, sir. l don`t.

-Well, do you read the papers or watch TV?

-Sometimes, yeah.

Well, then you`ve probably

seen our advertisements.

The government is gonna

make you pay a tax on the prize.

But if you buy the Waterson 2000

water filtration system...

...the prize gets recorded as a sales

expense, and you don`t pay any tax.

-Good deal, huh?



-And then l get the trip to Paris?

You`re guaranteed one

of those three prizes.

l`m gonna have a courier come to your

house. You`re gonna give him a check.

He`s gonna come to me, and then we`ll

decide which one of those prizes you get.

See how that works?

-How much do l pay?

-Three hundred ninety-eight dollars even.

-You`d pay twice that in stores.

-l need to speak to my husband.

lrene, my supervisor just stepped into my

office and he would love to talk to you.

Can you hold just a sec? Thanks, lrene.

-Good morning.

-Who says so?

lrene Fisk. She wants to talk

to her husband first.

Mrs. Fisk, John Goodhew,

regional vice president.


Which prize are you hoping for?


-That would be my choice too.

We`ve never been.

My associate tells me

you have five grandkids? Wow.

l understand you`d like to speak

to your husband first about this...

...but the thing is, my secretary

is having a baby this afternoon.

Everyone at the office is about

to head to the hospital.

Well, that`s wonderful.

Let me confirm your address

for our courier service.

All right.


Sorry, sorry.

Any thoughts on lunch?

Spicy calamari?

Thai food?


Otis, hush, hush.

-Can l help you?

-Carolyn Schaffer?

l`m Agent kellaway. This is Agent Cole.

We`re from the Federal Trade Commission.

Sorry to disturb you.

We`d like to ask you a few questions.

-ls everything all right?

-We hope so.

Mrs. Schaffer, can you tell us exactly

what the man said on the phone?

He said that there`d been a contest,

and l had won a prize.

There`d be a drawing next week,

and l`d win...

...either a Chevy Blazer,

a diamond necklace...

...or a trip to ltaly or France.

l don`t remember.

And that if l bought one of their filtration

things, l wouldn`t have to pay the tax.

-Jesus, Carolyn.

-l wanted to surprise you.

l`m sorry to tell you this, ma`am,

but you won`t be receiving any prize.

And l`m sorry to tell you

that you`ve been the victim of fraud.

Otis, knock it off.

lt`s not the newest swindle

in the world.

They bait you with something bogus,

then sell you something worthless.

How much did you give them,

Mrs. Schaffer?

Seven hundred dollars.

-What`s it worth?

-At any hardware store, 50 bucks.

Jesus, Carolyn.

But we`ve met people

who paid twice what you did.



You wrote a check, ma`am?

Did you mail it to them?

No, a courier picked it up.


lf they`d used the postal system,

it`s mail fraud and we can go after them.

Otherwise, there`s not a lot we can do.


-Unless what?

Well, a lot of these whack jobs... in syndicates. lf they cashed

your check out of state, it`s federal.

But we`d need a signed clearance

from you--

l`ll give you one if it will catch

these sons of b*tches.

-You have any more L-47s?

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    "Matchstick Men" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 Jun 2021. <>.

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