In the movie, Caine and Martin are con men who scam gullible, lonely, rich women out of their money. Describing a montage where the refined, urbane Caine teaches the bumbling, unsophisticated Martin the ropes of roping in millionairesses, one reviewer described Martin thusly:
"Martin, the most eloquent of physical clowns -- the Baryshnikov of comedy -- is at his most inspired here. He parodies feelings, attitudes, states of mind that one would think were exempt from it, and his caricature of dapper suavity is killingly precise. When he pours champagne, even the angle of his wrists is a scream."Martin is sincerely brilliant in this movie; his extreme silliness and pratfalls are so much subtler and more likable than those of his oft-compared counterpart in physical comedy, Jim Carrey. Maybe Martin's comedy seems more purposeful, more motivated, less random? Maybe Martin is just more charming? Maybe the '80s were just better at everything. Either way, if you haven't seen Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, or haven't seen it in a while, please revisit it soon.
A little set up for this scene: When Caine can't get rid of one particularly tenacious millionaire, he employs Martin to pretend to be his brother. How could having a brother run off a vulnerable, love-struck, Oklahoma woman, you ask? Here's how:
Note: the actual scene is a considerable bit longer than that, but I couldn't find an extended clip. I guess you'll just have to watch the whole movie. Not sold? Let a little more Ruprecht convince you:
Okay, it's like I can't stop. Ever forget someone's name?
Also, if you weren't already convinced that Steve Martin is one of the most talented comedians in history, let me add a few additional talents to his repertoire. In recent years, Martin has found new and repeated success as a playwright and author. If you're so inclined/obsessed, check out Martin's play Picasso at the Lapin Agile, or some of his novels (he starred in the movie version of his novel Shopgirl with Claire Danes). Oh and he plays the banjo. And saves lives, I'm sure. And is a boat captain on weekends. While he whittles cabinetry. For rescue cats. With diabetes. (I love you, Steve.)