David O Russell's Abscam film to be named American Hustle

Silver Linings Playbook director David O Russell's FBI conman drama reported to be titled American Hustle

David O Russell's forthcoming conman drama about the FBI's late-1970s Abscam sting operation finally appears to have a title. Having previously been reported under the name American Bullshit, the film now has the rather more marketable American Hustle for a moniker.

The title was revealed by the usually reliable US website Box Office Mojo, which tracks the financial success of movies. American Hustle reunites many of the key cast members of Russell's Oscar-winning comedy drama Silver Linings Playbook, including Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Russell and Robert De Niro. They will be joined by Christian Bale and Amy Adams from his film The Fighter, as well as Russell debutants Jeremy Renner, Jack Huston, Louis CK and Michael Pena.

The film centres on a con-artist couple, played by Bale and Adams, who are forced to work with a wayward federal agent (Cooper) to turn the tables on other shysters, gangsters and (in particular) corrupt politicians. Renner plays the equally maverick leader of the New Jersey state assembly, described as a local hero who represents the poverty-stricken district of Camden. De Niro plays a fixer connected to the underworld who is involved in gambling scams. Lawrence is said to be portraying Bale's wife (Adams is his lover).

The FBI's Abscam sting led to the conviction of a senator and five members of the US House of Representatives on charges of bribery and conspiracy between 1978 and 1980, and was the bureau's first major campaign targeting public officials. Russell's film borrows the story of its central figure, Melvin Weinberg, a conman who posed as an Arab businessman, Kambir Abdul Rahman, to expose political corruption. However, the film is reportedly not a direct replication of events.

American Hustle is being prepared for an awards season run in 2014. It is released in the US on 13 December for a limited run in cinemas before going country-wide on Christmas Day.


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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