A troubling plot hole in a classic
Made a disturbing realization recently with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
So, in Act II of the movie, Janet meets Lawrence for the first time at the casino (above). In this scene they are playing roulette and Lawrence is being friendly toward Janet.
A minute or so after this happens, Lawrence spots Freddie in his military uniform and fake wheelchair, and Freddie rams himself in between them. Janet helps Freddie place a losing bet, then follows him out in pity. They start talking, and Freddie tells Janet he needs to meet Dr. Emil Schaufhausen.
A few minutes later in the film (it’s the next day, or is it?), Lawrence begins to pretend to be Dr. Schaufhausen–in his clipped little West German accent. Lawrence meets Janet again in the lobby in this outrageous chair.
Janet says, “Oh it’s so nice to meet you! I recognized you from the casino!”
But here’s the problem. When she sees him in the lobby, he is doing the German accent. But when he was in the casino, he did not yet know about his own Dr. Schaufhausen cover story–because he did not even know yet that Freddie was going to show up in the wheelchair. So if he talked to Janet at the roulette table, he would have been doing it as himself: Lawrence Jameson, the ambiguously European prince with the English accent.
Wouldn’t Janet have detected the switch in accents and personae from one day to the next? I’m troubled and this movie is obviously ruined now.
Sidebar: The 1980s version is a remake of an earlier version of the same movie. Having seen the older one, it’s awesome–because some of the exact dialogue is the same.