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A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.
Frank Abagnale Sr.: Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.
Carl Hanratty: Well, would you like to hear me tell a joke? Earl Amdursky: Yeah. Yeah, we'd love to hear a joke from you. Carl Hanratty: Knock knock. Earl Amdursky: Who's there? Carl Hanratty: Go fuck yourselves.
Carl Hanratty: [Frank is making one last attempt to run by impersonating a pilot once again. Carl catches up with him at Dulles Airport] How'd you do it, Frank? How'd you pass the bar in Louisiana? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [Frank continues to walk. Carl walks several paces behind] What are you doing here? Carl Hanratty: Listen... Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I'm sorry I put you through all this. Carl Hanratty: You go back to Europe, you're gonna die in Perpignan Prison. You try to run here in the States, we'll send you back to Atlanta for 50 years. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I know that. Carl Hanratty: I spent four years trying to arrange your release. Had to convince my bosses at the FBI and the Attorney General of the United States you wouldn't run. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Why'd you do it? Carl Hanratty: You're just a kid. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I'm not your kid. You said you were going to Chicago. Carl Hanratty: My daughter can't see me this weekend. She's going skiing. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: You said she was four years old. You're lying. Carl Hanratty: She was four when I left. Now she's 15. My wife's been remarried for 11 years. I see Grace every now and again. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I don't understand. Carl Hanratty: Sure you do. Sometimes, it's easier living the lie. [Frank stops, Carl catches up] Carl Hanratty: I'm going to let you fly tonight, Frank. I'm not even going to try to stop you. That's because I know you'll be back on Monday. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Yeah? How do you know I'll come back? Carl Hanratty: Frank, look. Nobody's chasing you.
Frank Abagnale Sr.: You know why the Yankees always win, Frank? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: 'Cause they have Mickey Mantle? Frank Abagnale Sr.: No, it's 'cause the other teams can't stop staring at those damn pinstripes.
Paula Abagnale: Just tell me how much he owes and I'll pay you back. Carl Hanratty: So far, it's about 1.3 million dollars.
Doctor Harris: I blew it didn't I? Why didn't I concur?
Frank Abagnale Jr.: Ah, people only know what you tell them, Carl.
Roger Strong: Frank, would you like to say grace? [Long pause] Roger Strong: Unless you're not comfortable. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Absolutely. Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned, but the second mouse, he struggled so hard that he eventually churned that cream into butter and he walked out. Amen. [All say: Amen] Carol Strong: Oh, that was beautiful. The mouse, he churned that cream into butter.
Principal Evans: Mr. and Mrs. Abagnale, this is not a question of your son's attendance. I regret to inform you that, for the past week, Frank has been teaching Mrs. Glasser's French class. Paula Abagnale: He what? Principal Evans: Your son has been pretending to be a substitute teacher, lecturing the students, uh, giving out homework, uh. Mrs. Glasser has been ill, there was some confusion with the real sub. Your son held a teacher-parent conference yesterday and was planning a class field trip to a French bread factory in Trenton.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [In a letter] Dear Dad, you always told me that an honest man has nothing to fear, so I'm trying my best not to be afraid.
Carl Hanratty: Tell me this, Barry Allen, Secret Service. How did you know I wouldn't look in your wallet? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: The same reason the Yankees always win. Nobody can keep their eyes off the pinstripes. Carl Hanratty: The Yankees win because they have Mickey Mantle.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [whispering to Joanna] Hey... You should fold it. Joanna: What? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: That note. It's a fake, right? You should fold it. Joanna: It's... It's a note from my mom. I have a doctor's appointment. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Yeah, but there's no crease in the paper. When your mom hands you a note to miss school, the first thing you do is, you fold it and you put it in your pocket. I mean, if it's real, where's the crease? [Joanna folds note to give it a crease]
Kid: More coffee, sir? [notices paperwork] Kid: Are you a collector? Carl Hanratty: Of what? Kid: Captives of the Cosmic Ray, The Big Freeze, Land of the Golden Giants. I've got em all. Carl Hanratty: What are you talking about? Kid: Barry Allen. The Flash. [walks away] Carl Hanratty: Wait, kid, kid, kid. You mean like the comic book? Kid: Yeah, the comic book. When he's not The Flash. That's his name, Barry Allen. Carl Hanratty: Thank you. [cut to Carl using a payphone] Carl Hanratty: Now get this: he reads comic books. Comic books! Barry Allen is The Flash! Tom Fox: Carl, slow down, slow down. I don't know what the hell you're talking about. Carl Hanratty: He's a kid. Our unsub is a kid. That's why we couldn't match his prints. That's why he doesn't have a record. Now, I want you to contact the NYPD for every all-points juvenile runaways in New York City. And don't forget the airports. He's been kiting checks all over the country. Tom Fox: But why New York? Carl Hanratty: The Yankees! He said something about the Yankees!
[repeated line] Carl Hanratty: How'd you do it, Frank? How did you cheat on the bar exam in Louisiana?
[last lines] Carl Hanratty: There's impressions on every line... looks like the original amount was for $60... Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [walks up and takes magnifier] Mind if I take a look? Carl Hanratty: [looks up] Cashed in Flagstaff a week ago. Cost the bank $16,000. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: It's a real check. Carl Hanratty: Yeah. Yeah, it's been washed. The only thing original is the signature. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: But it's perfect, Carl. I mean, this isn't hydrochloride or bleach. Carl Hanratty: No. Something new. Maybe a nail polish remover where the acetone removes the ink that's not been printed? [long pause] Carl Hanratty: How did you do it, Frank? How did you cheat on the bar exam in Louisiana? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I didn't cheat. I studied for two weeks and I passed. Carl Hanratty: Is that the truth, Frank? Is that the truth? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I'll bet this guy steals checks out of mailboxes. He washes off their names and he puts on his own. Carl Hanratty: You're saying he's a local? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Well, if it were me, you know, I'd call the bank first... check out the balance... Carl Hanratty: Make sure there's enough money in there to make it worth your while... Frank Abagnale, Jr.: You know, Carl, I think this guy's pretty smart. [Carl laughs] Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Now, all we have to do is catch him.
Assistant Director Marsh: [Carl and Mr. Marsh are visiting Frank in prison; Carl hopes to convince the FBI to let Frank out of prison] I'd like for you to take a look at something, tell me what you think. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [Marsh hands Frank a fake check as Carl looks on] It's a fake. Assistant Director Marsh: How do you know? You haven't looked at it. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: There's no perforated edge, right? This check was hand-cut, not fed. The paper's double-bonded, much too heavy to be a bank check. Magnetic ink, it's raised against my fingers, not flat. This doesn't smell like MICR, it's some kind of, uh, some kind of drafting ink. The kind you get at a stationery store. Assistant Director Marsh: Frank, would you be interested in working for the FBI's Financial Crimes Unit? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I've already got a job here, you know. I, uh, deliver the mail. Assistant Director Marsh: Frank, we have the power to take you out of prison. You'd be placed in the custody of the FBI where you'd serve out the remainder of your sentence as an employee of the Federal Government. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Under whose custody? [Carl raises his hand]
Tom Fox: He doesn't have a passport. Carl Hanratty: For the last six months, he's gone to Harvard and Berkeley. I'm betting he can get a passport.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [as Frank Conners] Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this is irrefutable evidence that the defendant is, in fact, lying. Judge: Mr. Conners, this is a preliminary hearing. There is no... defendant. There is no... jury. It's just me. Son... what in the HELL is wrong with you?
Earl Amdursky: [while Carl is setting the trap for Frank at the Miami airport] Why won't he just take a taxi to New York or Atlanta? Carl Hanratty: Because *I'm* not in New York. *I'm* not in Atlanta.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Brenda, I don't want to lie to you anymore. All right? I'm not a doctor. I never went to medical school. I'm not a lawyer, or a Harvard graduate, or a Lutheran. Brenda, I ran away from home a year and a half ago when I was 16. Brenda Strong: Frank? Frank? You're not a Lutheran?
Frank Abagnale Sr.: Do you know what would happen if the IRS found out I was driving around in a new coupe? I took the train here, Frank. I'm taking the train home.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [of the FBI] Carl, how long do I have to work here? Carl Hanratty: 7:15 in the morning, 4:00 in the afternoon, 45 minutes for lunch. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I mean, how long? Carl Hanratty: Every day. Every day, Frank, until we let you go.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [donning a James Bond style suit and mimicking Sean Connery in the mirror] Hello, Pussy.
Frank Abagnale Sr.: Where's your mother? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I don't know. She said something about going to look for a job. Frank Abagnale Sr.: What's she gonna be, a shoe salesman at a centipede farm?
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Christ! Terry! This is Italian knit.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Stop chasing me! Carl Hanratty: I can't stop, it's my job.
Frank Abagnale Sr.: She's so stubborn, your mother. Don't worry, I won't let her go without a fight. I've been fighting for her since the day we met. Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Dad, out of all those men - you were the one who took her home, remember that. Frank Abagnale Sr.: Two-hundred men sitting in that tiny social hall watching her dance. What was the name of that town? Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Montrichard, Dad. Frank Abagnale Sr.: I didn't speak a word of French, six weeks later she was my wife.
Carl Hanratty: Our unknown subject is a paperhanger who started working on the East Coast. In the last few weeks this unsub has developed a new form of check fraud which I'm calling "the float". What he's doing is opening checking accounts at various banks then chaning the MICR ink routing numbers at the bottom of those checks. Next slide, please. This is a map of the 12 banks of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Slide. MICR scanners at every bank read these numbers at the bottom of the check - slide - and they ship that check off to its corresponding branch. Special Agent Witkins: Carl, for those of us who are unfamiliar with bank fraud you mind telling us what the hell you're talking about? Carl Hanratty: The East Coast branches are numbered zero-one to zero-six. The central branch is zero-seven, zero-eight so on, so forth. Special Agent Witkins: You mean the numbers at the bottom of a check actually mean something? Carl Hanratty: All of this was in the report I filed two days ago. If you change a zero-two to a one-two that means a check, which was cashed in New York Federal Branch but it is rerouted all the way to San Francisco Federal Branch. The bank doesn't even know the check has bounced for two weeks, which means our unsub can stay in one place, paper the same city over and over again, while his checks circle the country.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [when Carl catches up to him in the print shop in Montrichard] Carl? Carl! Merry Christmas! How is it we're always talking on Christmas, Carl? Every Christmas, I'm talking to you! [laughs] Carl Hanratty: Put your shirt on, Frank. You're under arrest.
Carl: I love my job!
Carl Hanratty: But, sir, we're gonna let him get away. Assistant Director Marsh: No, Carl, you let him get away.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: The truth is I'm not a doctor or a lawyer. I'm not an airline pilot. I'm nothing really. I'm just a kid in love with your daughter.