Frank Abignale Jr. was one of the greatest fraud artists of the 20th century, stealing millions of dollars with writing bad checks. His story of how he was able to accomplish this feat before his 19th birthday, and his chase from the F.B.I. was told in the film Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg.
Like many Hollywood biography films, the truth of the real story is often changed in order to make the film more dramatic. According to the real Frank Abignale Jr., the film is about 80 percent correct, which is pretty spot on for a hollywood film. With the reputation that Spielberg has as a great film director however, I would be surprised if the film was any less accurate. Spielberg has the respect to be true the story, as shown in his Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List. That being said, there are a number of details hollywood had changed to Abignale Jr.’s story. The film states that Abignale Jr. had stolen up to $10 million dollars, when Abignale Jr. says that it was only $2.5 million dollars. The film also states that Abignale Jr. was on the F.B.I.’s Top Ten Most Wanted to list, when in actuality that list is reserved only for violent criminals, while Abignale Jr.’s crimes were only conterfeiting.
Tom Hanks’ character Carl Handratty, the F.B.I. agent who chases after Abignale Jr. for years, was a fictional name and based on multiple agents who were after Abignale Jr. The agent who most notably resembles Handratty was agent Joe Shea. Shea was the lead investigator