Catch Me If You Can Close Reading

“Why do the Yankees always win?” “‘Cause they have Mickey Mantle?” “No, it’s ’cause the other teams can’t stop staring at those damn pinstripes.”

The question Frank Abagnale Sr. asks his son, Frank Abagnale Jr., captures the plot as well as the theme of the movie. In the movie Catch Me If You Can the FBI agent, Carl Hanratty, who is after con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. comes to develop a pseudo father-son like relationship. Frank Abagnale Jr. was a con-artist and forger that at the age of 17 he already stole millions from banks through deception. This exchange between Frank Abagnale and his father set forth the idea of looking too closely and missing the bigger picture. The Yankees reference is relevant to Frank because he is from New York. In fact, “the Yankees” in this quote represents Frank Abagnale Jr. who successfully pulls off his hoaxes multiple times. He doesn’t get caught by “the other teams” because the authorities are always looking for the wrong thing.What his father says reminds me of another movie pertaining to hoaxes as well, Now You See Me, and the quote from that film: “The closer you look the less you’ll see.” The use of the word “damn” gives Frank Abagnale Sr. more of a personality and an authoritative tone. Only adults are able to use cuss words back in the day and Frank Abagnale Jr. seems to be the young boy that gets the question wrong, which is ironic.

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4 Responses to Catch Me If You Can Close Reading

  1. Lindsey Grubbs says:

    Nice work on this, Selina! You set up the background well, and I like how you’re able to tie it to concrete words and the text, like the use of “damn” to establish character. You’ve unpacked the baseball metaphor well, too. As a next step, you could push harder on things like grammatical structure. For instance, we have two question marks in a row. It’s sort of interesting that Jr’s question mark comes at the end of his answer–usually we answer questions with statements, so framing it as a question shows something about his character in this scene, too.

  2. Selina Liu says:

    Frank Abagnale Jr., whether intentionally or not, responds to his father’s question with a question showing his elusive characteristic. When someone answers a question with a question, the person is usually just stalling or testing the person asking the question out. The abbreviations on “because” also shows that Frank Jr. might possibly have a Bronx accent and may not have had an uppity/proper high school education.

  3. Selina Liu says:


  4. Lindsey Grubbs says:

    Good details, Selina, thanks!

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