The True Story Behind the Film AMERICAN HUSTLE
Originally published in 1981, The Sting Man provided the rich source material for 2013 awards darling American Hustle. Directed by David O’Russell and starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams, the movie scooped a clutch of critics’ awards and was nominated for numerous Golden Globes and Oscars.
The book recounts the tale of how Bronx con man Mel Weinberg almost brought down the US government. From short cons on the streets of New York to worldwide sham investment schemes, Weinberg caught the attention of the FBI who recruited him. Using his skills to catch art thieves and counterfeiters Weinberg and his FBI handlers eventually conceived Abscam, the sting which entrapped numerous corrupt senators and congressmen and rocked the American political system.
Though the movie takes some enormous liberties with the source material and more column inches have been devoted to the hairstyles than to Weinberg, introducing him back into the public consciousness is no bad thing. It’s a fascinating story. Greene, a Pulitzer Prize-winner who died in 2008 uses transcripts from the tapes that convicted the politicians as well as quotes from Weinberg himself. The book is thoroughly entertaining, all the more so because you can scarcely believe it happened. The FBI recruiting a con man to entrap politicians by pretending to be a fake Sheikh? If you liked the story of confidence trickster Frank Abnagale Jr in Catch Me if You Can then you’ll love The Sting Man too.
Read our review of American Hustle
Release Date: 2nd December 2013