Great Pretender is the story of men and women who work together to pull off confidence schemes. Like Ocean’s Eleven movies, Great Pretender offers elaborate thefts that take multiple people with different skillsets to execute. Join us as we take a look at the top 5 confidence schemes in the 1st Cours of Great Pretender!
5. The Sakura Magic Demo, from Case 1: Los Angeles Connection
On their first job, Laurent bets Edamura that he can make their target buy their pack of Japanese candy for $5 million. At the house’s pool, Laurent introduces Edamura to the Hollywood mobster as the scientist behind the drug. When the girlfriend of the mobster tries it, she has a euphoric response jumping and screaming before plunging into the pool, ending in a daze atop the water. Edamame believes the drugs are real and the deal goes through. The girl is a team member that Edamame has not yet met and the whole thing was an act and to Edamura’s devastation, the customer agrees to buy the candy for $5 million. For an impressive emotional and athletic performance, and making Edamura think that he took drugs, the demo of Sakura Magic earns a spot in this list.
4. Sakura Magic Creation, from Case 1: Los Angeles Connection
Edamura finds a way to sell Sakura Magic for even more than the $5 million. Edamura offers to sell the recipe of the fake drug to the Hollywood mobster if he obliges to pay an astounding $10 million. The mobster then takes Laurent and Edamura to a warehouse where he manufactures drugs to see the creation made on the spot. With no knowledge of drugs, knowing the product is only candy, and also knowing a mobster is an unfortunate dissatisfied customer, what does Edamame do? Edamame steps up to the table of tools and loudly announces that he cannot make anything. To the shocked audience, he explains then that he uses precise instruments and such a clean environment that it was impossible to produce in the current atmosphere. After Laurent piles on, the mobster believes this and begins plans to renovate. This con buys our heroes more than a week’s worth of time, and they do use it well!
3. Paula Dickens Accepts Mafia Bribe, from Case 1: Los Angeles Connection
After demonstrating how to make drugs, law enforcement rushes the building lead by one Paula Dickens. She makes a clean sweep of all involved and vows to turn everyone in, until the mob boss makes an offer. The mafia boss agrees to transfer $100 million into Dickens’ bank account as a bribe to go free. Later in jail, he realizes that the person he gave all that money to was, in fact, not Paula Dickens at all! He has no idea who has his $100 million. After splitting the earnings with the crew who posed as her backup, Dickens—or rather Cynthia as we come to know her—joins up with Laurent, Edamura, and Abigail for future cons.
2. Black Market Art Auction, from Case 3: Snow of London
James Coleman is an expert in fine art who crushes those “beneath” him and feigns romance to an older woman who will buy art he loves. Coleman and his doting significant other believe they're attending a black market auction—set up by Laurent to include a piece Coleman wants—filled with various “mob-esque” attendees.
Through his greed, pride, and disregard for her wishes, Coleman bids well over the £70 million cap his girlfriend had and he wins the bid. Simultaneously, Coleman’s girlfriend gets a recording that reveals Coleman’s ill intentions and so, Coleman ends up with a £100 million tab and nobody to pay it for him. For its complexity, cash haul, number of players, and a bad guy defeated, the Black Market Auction earns the 2nd spot in our list.
1. Race Results in Illegal Gambling Room, from Case 2: Singapore Sky
Sam Ibrahim is the race-fixing competitor/target to this con job, which involves flying and fixing airplanes. Among many other cons performed in Case 2: Singapore Sky, the scheme here looks like an illegal gambling house that bets on the races in which Sam is involved. In order not to be noticed, Sam asks Edamame to bet a large amount on his behalf and it results in Sam getting kicked out for being dishonest. Sam comes back later to bet proudly and in his own name. The host, Laurent, allows Sam to make his 25 million bet, and the race begins.
Sam’s brother wins but he doesn’t know it. The viewing windows’ glass was tinted so that the fireworks looked like the opposing team's colors and pre-recorded footage on the gambling room’s TVs showed the same result. Sam is devastated but after he leaves, he realizes his brother won. Sam had won the bet! Sam rushes to get his money back, but when he arrives, the room is empty. For a massive payday, a plan that kept the audience guessing, and a comedically quick teardown, the best con in the 1st Cours of Great Pretender goes to the rigged race results in the Singapore Sky illegal gambling room!
The confidence schemes run in Great Pretender are sometimes layered and involve many parties. Still, sometimes they need just a single person acting with such self-assuredness that nobody questions that person’s motive. We hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the confidence schemes from Great Pretender. Were there some you wish were here? Which con here is your favorite? Should we have included a different one? Let us know in the comments!