[Marxism] The Confidence Men » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jan 3 11:25:41 MST 2014

When Scorsese Imitates Scorsese
The Confidence Men

In addition to sharing the inside track for a fistful of Oscars in 
January, both David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” and Martin Scorsese’s 
“The Wolf of Wall Street” feature confidence men as antiheroes. They 
also are based on actual historical events, with the late 70s Abscam 
sting of American politicians featured in Russell’s film, and the rise 
and fall of penny stock swindler Jordan Belfort in the late 80s 
dramatized by Scorsese. Although both Abscam and the Belfort tale are 
ripe for social commentary, the primary goal of these two “prestige” 
directors is to make entertaining films that dance around the social 
problems they should address. Finally, both films are imitations of 
Martin Scorsese, a director who has seen better days. “American Hustle” 
borrows liberally from the tricks of the Scorsese trade and so does 
Scorsese himself, who in his 25th film since 1972 ends up plagiarizing 


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