Catch Me if You Can is just one of the noteworthy films new on Netflix this month, and the 2002 drama is already picking up renewed interest thanks to its turn on the streaming platform. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Catch Me If You Can tells the story of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio), a teenage con-man who posed in multiple different occupations and became one of the country’s most notorious bank robbers at just 17 years old.
While he’s continuing his crime spree, Frank catches the attention of the FBI, specifically FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), who dedicates his work to tracking down the teenage felon and capturing him for good. While Carl is a determined and skilled agent, Frank’s wits keep putting him just out of the FBI’s grasp.
It’s a pretty wild story and a captivating watch, but is a Catch Me If You Can really a true story? Here’s everything you need to know.
IS CATCH ME IF YOU CAN A TRUE STORY?
Yes, Catch Me if You Can is actually inspired by a real story. The film is based on the life of Frank Abagnale, a man who really did make history as one of the best con artists in modern history. When Abagnale published a memoir about his life in 1980, Spielberg’s DreamWorks bought the rights to the book and later turned it into a movie. Just like in Catch Me If You Can, Abagnale really did pose under multiple identities, including a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor and a Louisiana parish prosecutor, just to name a few.
But according to Screen Rant, not every detail in Catch Me If You Can sticks to history. For example, Carl Hanratty’s character was fictional. While the FBI did get on Frank’s case, there were multiple agents working to catch him, rather than one single dedicated sleuth.
Now, Abagnale has a very different career from what’s portrayed in Catch Me If You Can. According to CNBC, the former con-man now works as a private consultant, author and public speaker who focuses on fraud prevention.
WHO IS IN THE CATCH ME IF YOU CAN CAST?
Catch Me If You Can stars plenty of A-list talent. Aside from DiCaprio and Hanks, the film’s cast includes Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Nathalie Baye, Amy Adams, James Brolin, Nancy Lenehan, Thomas Kopache, Candice Azzara, and Malachi Throne.
WHERE CAN I WATCH CATCH ME IF YOU CAN?
Right now, you’ll find Catch Me If You Can on Netflix, but you can also watch the movie on VOD through Prime Video, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, and the Microsoft Store. Catch Me If You Can is available to rent for $2.99 to $3.99, or buy for $13.99.
OTHER MOVIES LIKE CATCH ME IF YOU CAN:
If you’ve already seen Catch Me If You Can and you’re looking for something similar, you’ve got options. We recommend you turn to The Big Short or American Hustle, or watch The Departed next if you’re looking for another DiCaprio crime movie.