Pursuit of the American Dream in “Catch Me If You Can” and “Blow”
“Catch Me If You Can” is a true story based on a man who cheated large corporations out of their money, after growing up in a small town in poverty. “Blow” is very similar in that it is based on the true events of a man who worked the drug cartel for millions of dollars, after growing up with his parents in the slums. The main characters in these films both use two different schemes to accomplish the same goal, which is the “American Dream,” after being far from it during childhood.
Based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr, “Catch Me If You Can” tells of a successful con artist who managed to pass himself off as several identities for personal gain. During high school, Frank Abagnale Jr. idolized his father, who was constantly in trouble with the IRS. When his parents separate, he runs away to Manhattan with $25 in his pocket. Frank is determined to regain his dad's losses and get his parents back together. Just a few years later, the FBI tracks him down in France. He's extradited, tried, and jailed for passing more than $2,000,000 in bad checks. Along the way, he had successfully posed as a Pan Am pilot, a pediatrician, and an attorney. Also, from nearly the beginning of this life of crime, he's been continuously pursued by an FBI agent, Carl Hanratty.
George Jung is the son of a struggling small business owner. Seeing his family struggle to make ends meet and failing, George promises himself never to share a similar fate. Moving to California, he starts his own pot pushing operation in which he finds himself at both success and downfall. In prison, he meets a cellmate who introduces him into a partnership to the new market of cocaine. Upon release from jail, George Jung quickly becomes involved in establishing the exploding US market for cocaine. From all of the trafficking, he claimed to have handled about 85% of the supply in the 1970's. However, for all the fabulous wealth and power he gained, the true costs of his dangerous occupation catch up with him in ways from which he would never recover. The man who once lived in poverty had lost just over two million dollars to the government and was imprisoned to carry out a 15 year sentence.
These films, both based on true events, show the extent that individuals are willing to go to, to get out of a life in poverty and into a life of wealth. Many people want to live a life of no worries, where you can sit poolside at your mansion, and drive your nice cars. Along with these pieces of property, people want money and most of all power. Power is what drives many people to do what they do, as seen in “Blow.”...