Catch Me If You Can

                    INT. - GAME SHOW SET. - DAY 1

John Williams’ rhythmic jazz score sets the tone for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Frank William Abagnale Jr.’s semi-autobiographical tale, Catch Me If You Can, during an all too rare title sequence. I debated for a while whether to include title sequences in ‘Opening Scene Opinions’, especially if they come before the main opening scene, before eventually sitting on the fence and deciding to cross the bridge when I got to it. Enter bridge screen right.

Although the animated title sequence is executed with a brio on par with Frank’s tenacity the opening scene is still the primary focus of this OSO. A quick Google search will tell you that Frank did actually appear on the show ‘To Tell The Truth’ in 1977 and this is where the film begins, with a fresh faced Leonardo DiCaprio.

“My name is Frank William Abagnale.”

Short in comparison to The Blues Brothers OSO last week, barely stretching three minutes, but no less effective. Originality is at the core of this film’s success. Spielberg couldn’t have written it better himself, and that’s saying something given his impressive track record but Abagnale’s story has the workings of an intricate crime fiction novel that Spielberg harnesses professionally and efficiently within one scene.

The question put forward to #2, “Who was it that finally caught you?” Answered with a cool bravado, “His name was Carl Hanratty” Leo at once conjunctively emitting both pride and a shared appreciation. Unashamed of his achievements Leo’s thin smile presents Frank’s deserved charm that explains a great deal about his success. Whilst also hinting at a mutual appreciation, or even admiration for his hunter. FBI Agent Carl Hanratty, played by Tom Hanks is Leo’s suited counterpart and couldn’t have been cast better.

Despite a solid IMDB 8.0 I can’t help but feel this film is grossly underappreciated, or perhaps overlooked is better way of putting it. Not always a film that features in a social ‘Top 10’ but I seen no reason why not. Catch Me If You Can arguably laid the foundation for Leonardo DiCaprio’s casting as Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street biopic. Thoroughly deserving of a Must-see rating the cool chasing beat of John Williams’ score meshed with DiCaprio and Hanks in two outstanding performances exceed the potential of Abagnale’s tale to great effect.

This Opening Scene Opinion concerns the first 4 minutes and 15 seconds of Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can (2002).

A loose script can be found at the Internet Movie Script Databse (IMSDb), http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Catch-Me-If-You-Can.html

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