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 movie 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 5, 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 15, 2015.
Griffin "The Brains" Bing (Noah Crawford) is a teenage boy known for helping out his friends in times of need. His friend Ben "The Best Friend" Dupree (Chris O'Neal) and his family are in the danger of losing their home. The boys find a Honus Wagner baseball card inside Ben's house. Without realizing its actual worth, they decide to sell it to Paul Swindell (Fred Ewanuick), a collector who agrees to buy the card for $120.00.
The next morning, Griffin and Ben discover that Swindle has claimed to have found the card himself and plans to sell it for $1 million. The two meet Swindle, who refuses to return the card. Griffin forms a team in order to perform a challenging heist. Besides Griffin and Ben, the team consists of Amanda "The Gymnast" Benson (Ariana Grande), Savannah "The Actress" Westcott (Jennette McCurdy), and Darren "The Muscle" Vader (Noah Munck). Griffin's younger sister Melissa (Ciara Bravo) attempts to join the team but Griffin rejects her.
Together the team attempts to sneak into Swindell's shop. Griffin finds the card but is worried that they would be potential suspects in an investigation of the card. After Melissa saves the team from being caught by hacking into the shop's alarm system, they let her join the team and dub her "The Hacker." 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 ear piece, Amanda goes to the house of Eddie, a nerdy rare item collector to find a rare red-headed Captain Cybertor action figure. He lends the toy to her 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. Melissa hacks into the system and switches the rooms. Their room is a crown suite, but Swindell's is a basement hotel room. Savannah then pretends to be Swindell's daughter and asks for the hotel room key to the crown suite. Savannah and Darren pretend to be a couple of German kids who do not know the action figure'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 receives a phone call from a collector named Ivan Volkov who has been searching for a red-headed Captain Cybertor.
Swindell retrieves the rare red figure, but Amanda has swapped it for a normal blue one. 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. The gang confronts Swindell and tells him about the Cybertor switch. They offer him the red Cybertor in return for the Honus Wagner card and show him CCTV 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 on to a couple's wedding cake. They all chase after it. Meanwhile, Ben's dad is at the hotel and is showing off his invention called the iGotit, hoping to win a cash prize.
After disrupting the wedding, the gang retrieves the Cybertor and offer it to Swindell in exchange for the card in order to give it to Ivan Volkov. After Swindell gives the Cybertor to Volkov and flees under his orders, it is revealed that Ivan 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. They also used the money to send the wedding couple on a real honeymoon. Ben also pays for the group's college and lets himself and his team spend the rest. Afterwards, Griffin decides that the group should keep the rest of the money so they can continue to foil swindlers after a little girl asks for Griffin's help getting her rare bird back from a fake groomer.
- 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.