From America's most notorious criminal to a security adviser, the amazing life story of a man is more astonishing than any fiction, but it is also true. Behind the eight-faced man were at one time countless individuals who, in addition to his fraudulent victims, were FBI and police officers, to arrest him.
An Oscar-nominated film was also made on this man's life full of drama, romance, action, and thrill. You may not know this person but you have heard the name of the movie 'Catch Me If You Can', the bell rang in your mind? Frank Abagnell Jr. is the man played by Leonardo DiCaprio on the screen, while Tom Hanks appears as the FBI agent who caught him.
Born in April 1948, Frank's parents separated during his childhood and he lived with his father and was accustomed to stealing from shops since childhood. When Frank was allowed by his father to use a credit card, he took advantage of it and began buying and selling expensive things. After being caught cheating, Frank was sent to a 'bad boys' school and ran away from home at the age of 16.
Before running away from home, he got a driver's license that was 10 years older than his actual age and started posing as a Pan Am Airlines pilot for free flights. At the time, airlines other than Pan Am offered free air travel to professional pilots, which Frank took full advantage of to travel millions of miles. As a pilot, he also enjoyed free accommodation and meals in hotels, chatted with pilots in the cockpit, and flew several times, but also on auto-pilot, and, of course, fights with air hostesses.
After a police investigation, he entered the world of law and obtained a fake law degree to work in the Louisiana State Attorney General's Office. Later, when suspicions surfaced about him, he left and went to another place and introduced himself as a doctor. This role was played so well that supervisors were made in a local hospital and in this position, there was no need to see patients so there was no problem.
As a total of 8 different personalities, they swindled millions of dollars in 5 years and then arrived in France on an FBI investigation but were caught and imprisoned for 6 months, after which they spent another 6 months in a Swedish prison. And when he was deported to the United States, he escaped from the plane but was caught and escaped again and was eventually sent to prison for 12 years.
Five years after his 12-year sentence, he was released by the FBI on the condition that he help with check fraud, and thus began his career as a security adviser. He worked with the FBI for almost 40 years, during which time he started his own company.
By the way, there is no need to tell the story of the film because it was almost based on Frank's own biography and no significant change was seen. However, the film also changed a lot, such as portraying Frank's father in a much better way. The film depicts the 1963 era when Frank's family moved from a large house to a small apartment due to various problems and Frank was admitted to a public school.
When his parents divorced, Frank ran away from home and started cheating on the need for money, and gradually his confidence grew. He first became a pilot, forging Pan MK payroll checks and earning millions of dollars. Meanwhile, an FBI agent, Carl Henriety, discovered Frank in a hotel, but Frank escaped by convincing him that he was a Secret Service agent.
Later, even after becoming a doctor and a lawyer, he deceived people and fell in love with a hospital worker, and asked his parents to marry him. What happens next and how the FBI agent catches it is a very interesting case that you will enjoy watching.
There are also some interesting facts about the film.
Production of the film began in 1980 with the publication of Frank's autobiography, but the matter was put on hold, and Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks acquired the rights at the time, but after considering several names for the director, decided to direct himself.
According to Frank Abagnell Jr., his story was exaggerated in the film because it was done in the biography, which formed the basis for the film. This was due to Stan Reading, who helped him write the autobiography, and according to Frank, he presented it as a story instead of writing my autobiography, 80% of the events in the film were authentic.
In real life, Frank never met his father after running away from home, but the film shows the opposite. More than a hundred costumes were used for Leonardo DiCaprio for the film. Shooting for 140 locations for the film was completed in just 52 days.
The protagonist whose name was changed in the film was the FBI agent who caught Frank.