Female Con Artists 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:
   Romance Novels
   Non-Romance Novels
   Television
I’m always on the lookout, so if you’ve seen other movies, let me know.


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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Two con men compete against each other. A minor con woman makes a brief appearance. This is the original movie that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was made from, but that movie has better con women.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Wanda is a con woman in this comic heist tale.

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

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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

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

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

Bound
1996

Two women conspire to rob the mob.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Gambit
2012

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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