Con Women in Movies

I am fascinated by stories with female con artists and have gathered quite a collection. Here is my list of movies. I also have lists of con women in:
   Television
   Romance Novels
   Non-Romance Novels
I'm always on the lookout, so if you've seen other movies, let me know.


Blonde Crazy
1931

A grifter (Cagney) teaches a female protégé (Blondell) who soon grows to be an even better grifter.

Smart Woman
1931

She tricks her husband into abandoning his infidelity with a golddigger, and returning to her.

Trouble in Para­dise
1932

A male and female con artist meet, steal from each other, and instantly fall in love. After that, it's all fun.

Baby Face
1933

She tricks men and sleeps her way to the top, gaining riches and power.

Gold Diggers of 1933
1933

Three showgirls live together and trick a rich man who's trying to stop his brother from marrying one of them. In the process, they get money, gifts, and even love.

Hold Your Man
1933

Two con artists in love get caught and sent to jail, first one, then the other.

Jimmy the Gent
1934

A woman, taught by one man to scam rich people with fake lost relatives, falls for another man who does the same thing.

Sylvia Scarlett
1935

She dresses like a boy and tricks people in order to protect her father.

Desire
1936

Marlene Dietrich is a thief and con artist who meets and falls for an innocent American car designer.

Poppy
1936

W.C. Fields plays a con artist, and Poppy is his daughter. Ends with the classic line, "Never give a sucker an even break."

Gold Diggers of 1937
1937

Poor showgirls plot to escape depression-era poverty. One of them even works out a trick for swindling a rich man."

The Young In Heart
1938

A family of con artists, including a mother and daughter, move in with an innocent old lady who works her magic on everyone.

The Lady Eve
1941

A older man and his beautiful daughter con people on an ocean liner. Then, like any good romantic comedy, she falls for the mark.

The Major And The Minor
1942

A woman pretends to be a young girl to save money on her train fare. From there, the deception grows.

Double Indemnity
1944

She cons an insurance salesman, making him think she loves him, then getting him to insure and kill her husband. Remade in 1973.

Scarlet Street
1945

A con woman fleeces an innocent bank cashier who likes to paint pictures. She and her conman boyfriend steal his paintings and sell them.

The Strange Woman
1946

She learns from an early age to use her beauty to trick people into anything.

That Brennan Girl
1946

Taught to con by her mother, things become complicated when Ziggy Brennan falls for a mark.

Nightmare Alley
1947

Some women trick while doing a carnival mentalist act, but others are more serious.

Blonde Ice
1948

She schemes her way from man to man, marrying them then finding ways to murder them.

The Man With The Golden Arm
1955

She fakes an illness to keep her man.

The Birds and the Bees
1956

A father/daughter con team work an innocent man on a cruise ship, but she falls in love with him. A remake of The Lady Eve.

Witness for the Prose­cution
1957

There's barely a con in this Agatha Christie murder story until the twist ending.

Elmer Gantry
1960

Elmer meets a woman running a traveling ministry and he takes to it instantly. She's pretty good at it, too.

Bed­time Story
1964

Two con men compete against each other. A minor con woman makes a brief appearance. This is the original movie that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Hustle were made from.

The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers
1964

Five short stories about tricky women, but only a few of them still swindle.

A Big Hand For The Little Lady
1966

A simple man, with his wife and son, stumble in to the highest-stakes poker game of the year. As the title suggests, the little lady ends up with a surprisingly big hand.

Only When I Larf
1968

Three con artists (2 male, 1 female) swindle over and over, but when trouble arises, they cheat each other. Movie is faithful to the book until the end when a different one of the trio is triumphant.

Honeymoon Killers, The
1969

True story of a grifter and the woman who works her way into his heart as they seduce, swindle, and kill. Remade as Deep Crimson, Lonely Hearts, and Alleluia.

Double Indemnity
1973

She cons an insurance salesman, making him think she loves him, then getting him to insure and kill her husband. Faithful remake of 1944 movie.

Harry In Your Pocket
1973

She distracts men so Harry can pick their pockets.

Paper Moon
1973

A man and a 9-year-old girl (his daughter?) pull scams across depression-era America.

The Sting
1973

A gathering of con artists work together to avenge a friend. Female con artists include Alva Coleman and Billie.

L'Ingenua
1975

Although not a con artist, she ends up with the money and the man in this Italian comedy.

Shell Game
1975

There are multiple female con artists helping to play a long game, but none of them are major players.

The Con Artists
1976

A comedy in which an older con man works with his daughter and a new colleague to swindle his wife.

Family Plot
1976

Two crooked couples are tangled in a complex web. One couple pairs a fake-psychic woman with a cabdriving grifter. The other couple does kidnappings and jewel theft.

Nick the Sting
1976

Nick pulls a long con with a large crew, including his mother and a pickpocket named Anna.

Candleshoe
1977

A young con artist from the streets of America pretends to be the heiress to a British estate.

The Sting II
1983

She's part of a larger crew but plays significant roles.

Home Is Where the Hart Is
1987

She tries to trick a rich old man into marrying her. Amusing coincidences happen along the say.

Dirty Rotten Scoun­drels
1988

A minor con woman appears briefly, 15 minutes in, but a more significant con woman shows up later. An earlier version of this movie is Bedtime Story but that version has only the minor con woman. A later version of this movie is The Hustle, but done with women instead of men.

A Fish Called Wanda
1988

Wanda is a con woman in this comic heist tale.

She-Devil
1989

A loose adaptation of The Life and Loves of a She Devil that pits an unloved wife against her husband and his lover.

The Grifters
1990

A male and two female con artist (one is his mother). A gritty look at the downside of conning.

Curly Sue
1991

A male con artist and his young daughter grift all over the country until they try to swindle a female lawyer. She notices this dysfunctional but loving family.

The Magnificent Scoundrels
1991

At least three female con artists appear in this comedy about multiple groups of criminals trying to do the very same swindle.

House­sitter
1992

A female con artist moves into an unused home and weaves an entire life around the home's owner. Is there any truth to it?

Leap of Faith
1992

A female con artist teams with a man to run a fake traveling ministry. They break-down in a small town, and things change.

Killing Zoe
1993

Although Zoe is not a con artist at first, she tricks people and does quite well.

Malice
1993

A con artist goes to great lengths (including plastic surgery) to pull a long con.

Disclosure
1994

More than one woman is deceitful in this story of modern corporate trickery.

The Last Seduc­tion
1994

A female con artist seduces and cheats every man she meets, husbands, boyfriends, detectives, and more. Will she get away with it?

Léon: The Professional
1994

A twelve-year-old girl partners with a hitman to get revenge on her murdered family.

Tommy Boy
1995

A silly story in which Tommy's evil stepmother (Bo Derek) is a con woman.

Bound
1996

Two women conspire to rob the mob.

Deep Crimson
1996

Mexican remake of The Honeymoon Killers about a grifter and the woman who joins him in swindling and murdering.

Mission Impos­sible and
Mission Impos­sible II and
Mission Impos­sible III and
Mission Impos­sible 4 - Ghost Protocol
1996, 2000, 2006, 2011

Remake of the old TV show includes multiple female con artists as part of the impos­sible mission teams.

The Game
1997

A complex story of deception, including a supposedly innocent woman who becomes more and more involved as the story unfolds.

Jackie Brown
1997

Jackie is a tough flight attendant who gets caught running money. She has to go up against murderous crooks and federal agents.

Mutual Needs
1997

He hires her to come to his high-school reunion and make him look important. She does that and so much more. A soft-core porn film.

Shoot­ing Fish
1997

She's not a con artist, but hangs out with two men who are, and quickly learns their ways.

The Swindle
1997

A female con artist and an older male partner do a money scam in Switzerland that gets out of control.

The Spanish Prison­er
1998

An entire movie of con artists, male and female. It keeps on twisting right up to the very end.

Still Breath­ing
1998

A female con artist targets the wrong mark and tries to cheat a poor street performer. He can't be conned, and they fall in love.

Wild Things
1998

A tricky con game involving accusations of rape, along with murder and blackmail.

Simpa­tico
1999

Three con artists (one female) pull a horse-racing scam. Decades later, one of them revisits things to make trouble.

Nine Queens
2000

A conman and his new partner do a rare-stamp scam that end up involving the conman's sister.

The Prime Gig
2000

A woman helps run a telesales boilerroom while falling for one of the salesmen.

3000 Miles to Grace­land
2001

A casino heist by Elvis impersonators is successful. But a local woman manages to change everything for the thieves.

Birth­day Girl
2001

A con woman and her male colleagues play a Russian-bride scam on a British man.

Heart­break­ers
2001

A mother/daughter team of con artists each marry rich men and steal their money. But the daughter picks the wrong mark and falls for him.

Heist
2001

Rebecca Pidgeon once again plays the con woman in her husband's story (See The Spanish Prisoner and others).

Novo­caine
2001

There are two scheming women here, all trying to fool a dentist.

Femme Fatale
2002

A female con artist is part of a complex jewel heist scheme, where everyone gets fooled in the end.

Mir­anda
2002

A female con artist is the "inside man" on fake real-estate deals, but falls in love with an insecure librarian.

Confi­dence
2003

A long and twisted con game, it's never clear (until the end, of course) who is on which side.

The Cooler
2003

A tale of luck in Las Vegas, with two female tricksters, both of whose plans fail.

Match­stick Men
2003

Two grifters run into trouble when one of them has a long lost 14-year-old daughter show up.

Mr. Suave: Hoy! Hoy! Hoy! Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!
2003

A Fillipino movie about a man with too much bravado (calls himself Mr. Suave) who freezes up when he is with a woman. His friends hire a female con artist to help him out. Very silly.

Shade
2003

Grifters and card games: a perfect opportunity to wonder who is conning whom. All of them, even the woman in the troupe, have uncertain loyalty right up until the end.

Crimi­nal
2004

A layered plot of endless cons. Is that woman a con artist? It's hard to tell. This is a remake of the Argentinian film Nine Queens.

The Ladykillers
2004

She seems innocent, but is savvy all along. This is a remake of an earlier version of the film.

Seven Times Lucky
2004

She apprentices with an older con man, but who is working for whom?

Swindled
2004

She is part of a crew where no loyalties last for long.

Bluffmaster!
2005

She finds out he's a con artist so she swindles him.

Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena
2005

She gets tricked and wants to learn to con. When she gets tricked again, things start to get complicated.

Black Book
2006

True story of a Jewish woman who infiltrates Nazi HQ in the Netherlands during World War II.

Lonely Hearts
2006

Remake of The Honeymoon Killers about a grifter and the woman who helps him cheat and kill, told from the point of view of the police who caught them.

Priceless
2006

She lives off the generosity of men, tricking them. But when she tries to trick a poor man, she ends up teaching him her skills. Of course, they fall in love. French film.

The Unknown Woman
2006

Sexually abused, she plots revenge on the people she thinks are responsible.

Turn The River
2007

A female pool hustler has a hard life trying to get her son back.

$5 a Day
2007

Although this is a father/son con-artist buddy movie, a tricky woman does appear in a minor role.

21
2008

A band of MIT students break Vegas casinos by counting cards. Two of the students (a man and a woman) pull a con in the end.

Deception
2008

While a male con-artist works his magic, his female cohort uses her wiles. Together they pull a long con.

Duplicity
2009

They are really just spies, but she helps devise a complex scheme.

The Jonses
2009

A family of four pretends to be normal while actually doing stealth advertising in a rich neighborhood.

Sherlock Holmes
2009

Irene Adler is his muse and fellow trickster.

Splinter­heads
2009

A female grifter/carnival worker (a splinterhead) falls for a local boy.

Thick as Thieves
2009

An experienced con artist and his daughter team up with a younger con artist to pull a big heist.

Bad Teacher
2011

She's a con artist, working as a teacher in order to win the attention of an attractive fellow teacher.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
2011

Irene Adler appears at the start, being tricky.

Gambit
2012

Two competing Englishmen use an American rodeo queen for their plot, but she's more than they expect.

The Scam
2012

A woman pretends to be underage so they can lure and punish pedophiles.

Tricked
2012

There are many tricky women, including a con artist who pretends to be pregnant.

Amer­ican Hustle
2013

Con artists abound, men and women, in this re-imagining of the ABSCAM scandal.

The Best Offer
2013

She's involved in a long con to steal a massive art collection.

Identity Thief
2013

She steals his identity so they run around the country avoiing police and crooks.

Now You See Me and
Now You See Me 2
2013, 2016

The "Four Horsemen" (one is a woman) are really magicians and thieves, but they do plenty of conning, too.

Swin­dle
2013

A young-adult (Nickelodeon) con story that includes three females.

Alleluia
2014

French remake of The Honeymoon Killers about a grifter and the woman who joins him in swindling and murdering, with a twist ending.

Magic in The Moon­light
2014

A magician and spiritual debunker meets a woman who has true psychic powers. Or does she?

Con Men
2015

A complex plot that pays homage to "The Sting." Young con man tries to trick older one, but many con artists help take him down, including women.

Focus
2015

A female con artist apprentices with a more experienced man, but by the end, they're equals.

Sucker
2015

A young man is taught by an older con man and his daughter, mixing love and trickery.

The Hand­maiden
2016

A beautiful retelling of "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters. By removing the original story's "Gilbert-and-Sullivan" ending, the movie improves the greatly.

Unforget­table
2016

A crazy woman tricks her ex-husband's fiancé in order to win him back.

Coin Heist
2017

Four high-school students trick the U.S. Mint into making collectable and valuable coins. The two women are key, conceiving the plot and tricking necessary people.

The Swindlers
2017

In this Korean con-game movie, one of the tricksters is a woman.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
2018

A failed writer starts forging letters from famous writers. Based on a true story.

Ocean's 8
2018

The ultimate female-con-artist movie, with eight tricky women.

Red Sparrow
2018

She tricks her way through complex U.S./Russia politics.

The Hustle
2019

A remake of Bedtime Story and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but with two women competing against each other instead of two men.

Hustlers
2019

Strippers turn the tables on their customers, drugging them, stealing their identity, and robing them.

Miss Bala
2019

She tricks to survive, playing people off each other.


Full disclosure: I have written two romance novels that feature female con artists: Executive Sweet and Rock Con Roll.

See also: Con Women on TV, Con Women in Romance Novels, Con Women in Non-Romance Novels.