Swindle (2013 film)
by Gordon Korman
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||91 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Pacific Bay Entertainment|
|Original release||August 24, 2013|
Swindle is a 2013 American television film starring Noah Crawford, Chris O'Neal, Jennette McCurdy, Noah Munck, Ariana Grande, Ciara Bravo, and Fred Ewanuick. Based on Gordon Korman's novel of the same name, the film tells the story of Griffin (Noah Crawford), a boy who retrieves his friend's valuable baseball card from an unscrupulous collectibles dealer with the help of his friends. Sneak peeks promoting the film aired on Nickelodeon during three Sam & Cat episodes. The film premiered August 24, 2013 to an audience of over 4.2 million viewers. The film was released on DVD on March 19, 2014, and on Blu-ray on December 4, 2015.
Griffin Bing (Noah Crawford) is a teenager known for helping out both friends and classmates in times of need. His friend Ben Dupree (Chris O'Neal) and his family are preparing to sell their home as a result of Ben's inventor father continuously failing at products. After one of his inventions accidentally punches a hole in the wall, the boys find a Honus Wagner baseball card inside. Rushing to the pawn store, they choose not to look up its actual worth and decide to sell it to Paul Swindell (Fred Ewanuick), a collector who agrees to buy the card for three-hundred and fifty dollars.
The next morning, Griffin and Ben discover on the news that Swindell has claimed to have found the card himself and plans to sell it for its actual worth, a minimum of $1.2 million. The two angrily head back to Swindell, who refuses to return the card and take accountability for the boys' mistake. As a result, Griffin bands together a team to take the card back in an elaborate heist. In addition to Griffin and Ben, the team consists of gymnast Amanda Benson (Ariana Grande), actress Savannah Westcott (Jennette McCurdy), and bully Darren Vader (Noah Munck). Griffin's younger sister, hacker Melissa (Ciara Bravo), also attempts to join the team but Griffin rejects her.
Together the team attempts to sneak into Swindell's shop and steal the card. Griffin finds the card but has second thoughts, worried that they would be the prime suspects in an investigation of the robbery. After Melissa saves the team from being caught by hacking into the shop's alarm system, Griffin lets her join the team. Griffin then plans to have Swindell hand over the card to them. Subsequently, Anton Lefevre, a wealthy businessman, invites Swindell to auction off the card to him. Using video camera glasses with an earpiece, Amanda goes to the house of Eddie, a nerd at their school and a rare item collector, to find and obtain a rare red-headed "Captain Cybertor" action figure. Her earpiece switches off and, believing she cannot be heard, unknowingly reveals her true nerdy nature to the group (who can still hear her). Ultimately, Eddie lends the toy (and its common counterpart) to Amanda in return for a date with him.
The team plans to get the card at the Lakeshore Hotel where Swindell is planning to sell it. After arriving, Savannah then pretends to be Swindell's bratty daughter and asks for his crown suite room key. Melissa hacks into the hotel's system and gives Swindell a cheap, horrible room. Savannah and Darren pretend to be a couple of German kids who do not know the red-headed Captain Cybertor's actual price, and sell it to Swindell for $10. Swindell then goes to a massage with Griffin, who is disguised as Lefevre. During the massage, Griffin informs Swindell of a collector named Ivan Volkov who has been searching for a red-headed Captain Cybertor.
Amanda swaps the Cybertor figures from their boxes, unbeknownst to Swindell. He sells it to Volkov for $80,000 and later sees through Ben's mustache disguise, finds Ben's room card, and enters the gang's room. Expecting this, the gang confronts him and tells him about the Cybertor switch. They offer him the red Cybertor in return for the Honus Wagner card and show him footage of Volkov furious at Swindell for giving him the blue one. Swindell lunges for the red toy, so they throw it around until Ben accidentally throws it off the balcony and onto a couple's wedding cake. They all chase after it. Meanwhile, Ben's dad is at the hotel and is showing off his new invention, called the "iGotit", hoping to win a cash prize on an invention game show.
After disrupting the wedding, the gang retrieves the Cybertor and once again offer it to Swindell in exchange for the card. After Swindell gives the Cybertor to Volkov and flees under his orders, it is revealed that Volkov is actually Savannah's father, who, alongside two other men, were enlisted by Savannah to help Griffin out. The gang celebrates and reveals themselves as the actual owners of the card to Lefevre who invites them to the auction for it as the auction was near where Swindell was confronted. When Swindell attempts to leave the hotel, he bumps into an employee who spills his case and reveals a load of fake Honus Wagner cards with Swindell's face on them. A hotel employee gives Swindle the $35,000 bill for The Crown Suite as Swindell shouts Griffin's name into the sky.
At the end, Griffin rewards the gang with $25,000 for their help. Ben explains his family did not need the money because his dad had earned money off of his invention, which briefly stopped Swindell at the hotel. They also used the money to send the deserving wedding couple on a real honeymoon. Ben also pays for the group's college and lets himself and his team spend the rest. Afterwards, a little girl asks for Griffin's help retrieving her rare-breed bird from a fake groomer. As a result, Griffin decides that the group should keep the rest of the money so they can continue to foil swindlers.
- Noah Crawford as Griffin Bing ("The Brains")
- Fred Ewanuick as Paul Swindell ("The Swindler")
- Ciara Bravo as Melissa Bing ("The Hacker")
- Jennette McCurdy as Savannah Westcott ("The Actress")
- Chris O'Neal as Ben Dupree ("The Best Friend"/"The Sidekick")
- Noah Munck as Darren Vader ("The Muscle")
- Ariana Grande as Amanda "Mandy" Benson ("The Gymnast"/"Mandy the Mutant")
- Sandy Robson as Anton Leferve ("The Auctioner")
- Ecstasia Sanders as Hotel Manager
- Gardiner Millar as Mr. Westcott ("The Actor")
- Mitchell Duffield as Eddie Goldmeyer
- Chris Shields as Ben's dad
- Lucia Walters as Ben's mom
- Farrah Aviva as the bride
- Aurelio DiNunzio as the bride's father
- Phillip Lee as Joy the Jock
- Marrett Green as News Reporter
- "'Swindle' Trailer: Nickelodeon Teases New TV Movie Starring Ariana Grande And Jennette McCurdy". The Huffington Post. July 21, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "New Deets on Swindle!". Nick.com. October 3, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- Marechal, AJ (October 3, 2012). "Nick stars set to 'Swindle'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- Strecker, Erin (August 22, 2013). "'Swindle': Jennette McCurdy, Ariana Grande movie has tweens buzzing". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- "Nickelodeon's 'Swindle' Takes the Top Spot With Kids and Tweens for the Week, Drawing 4.2 Million Total Viewers" (Press release). Nickelodeon. August 27, 2013. Retrieved 2017-08-23 – via TV by the Numbers.
- "Swindle – DVD". Amazon.
- "Swindle – Blu-ray". Amazon.
- "Swindle." - Television Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013.