The Sting
The Sting
PG | 25 December 1973 (USA)
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Set in the 1930s this intricate caper deals with an ambitious small-time crook and a veteran con man who seek revenge on a vicious crime lord who murdered one of their gang.


Sorry, this movie sucks


One of my all time favorites.


Excellent adaptation.


what a terribly boring film. I'm sorry but this is absolutely not deserving of best picture and will be forgotten quickly. Entertaining and engaging cinema? No. Nothing performances with flat faces and mistaking silence for subtlety.

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The Sting3 Out Of 5The Sting is a heist thriller about two con artists whose plan to take down the impossible might just be possible. The scrutiny in here isn't as convoluted or glorifying as the makers think but is undeniably impressive and breezy to encounter which comes with cons too, like the characters never seems to be in trouble and has a way out of every calculated conflicts; primary reason why audience feels disconnected with the viewers. It is short on technical aspects like sound department, cinematography and editing although has amazing costume design and background score in its favor. The writing is weak yet gripping with varied tactics of heists that helps keep the audience engaged in it. The screenplay by David S. Ward pitches an impactful heist tale that is unforgettable in its own way. George Roy Hill; the director, has done a marvelous job on executing the script which could have easily come off as a hoax. The performance is decently acted out by Paul Newman and Robert Redford in their parallel roles and Robert Shaw in a supporting role. The Sting has a viscous bite that spreads like fire in a forest for despite of being loosely written it certifiably makes it entertaining.

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It's always entertaining and I'll usually watch it if it's on. Redford and Newman have great chemistry. The supporting cast is full of TV and Movie veterans like Ray Walston and Harold Gould who round out a solid cast. The best is most certainly Robert Shaw as Lonnegan. He's a truly brutal main who only barely manages to maintain the cover of a legitimate businessman. You always feel he's about ten seconds away from killing someone.For fans of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, note this is not a Redford/Newman buddy picture. The character dynamic is that of mentor and student. Hooker is clearly the main character and in the bulk of the scenes, whereas outside the poker game, Newman doesn't have much in the way of character development and rarely appears without Redford. As I said, the chemistry is still great, there's just not as much of it and Redford interacts with more of the rest of the cast.I'd say the biggest problem is the ending. How the sting is actually played out. It really feels that they didn't have good idea and use a twist of language the NO ONE would ever use in the real world. The followup is arguably even worse and it presumes Shaw and Charles Durning's cop character won't read a newspaper the next day. That would be fine if they hadn't made a point that Lonnegan could never know he'd been conned. However, it does recover a bit with a final interaction between Redford and Newman. They really are a likeable pair with a natural chemistry.

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If you have never seen The Sting before, my recommendation is to see it immediately. This is such a fun, wonderful movie and it's another example why 1973 was a great year in movies. The film is very stylish to look at and it gave me the authentic 1930s feeling although I get a feeling the art designer went a little beyond the authenticity. That being said, the production design and the costumes are excellent features of this movie. But not only is this film stylish, it also has a deep plot. Credit goes to director George Roy Hill for making this movie understandable and enjoyable for the mass audience. The movie does have a tendency to get overly complicated at times because of all the twists and turns that come out of nowhere-and to great effect. The first time I watched the movie, I fell in love with it but I was completely lost by the ending in the final showdown. My second viewing had me understand what was going on and that is all because of the excellent directing by Hill.If you only had two words to describe the plot, the best two words to use would be "revenge con." After all, this story is about revenge but not in the typical violent way. Revenge is got in the way of performing a big con. Anyway, Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) and Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) are two con men who meet up due to the murder of a mutual friend. Henry is an older, more accomplished con man while Johnny is a young man, but despite his great talent, he can be rash and cocky. They get together to avenge the death of their friend, which was caused by the mob boss, Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Featuring a poker game, a fake wire room for horse bets, the involvement of the police, and many twists and turns, this story will take you for a fun ride.The writing and direction are big reasons why this film was successful, but another reason was the acting. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are not actors I would normally call funny, but here they inhabit their characters with some comedy and it works out perfectly. Newman brings a veteran presence in this movie and as always, he does a magnificent job in the role as Henry. He made Henry a drunk, but a very competent and skilled con man who turns into almost a father figure for Johnny. Robert Redford is a star on the rise and this movie, which nominated him for an Academy Award, helped him achieve stardom. He was very charming here and the way he pulls of his cons make him even more charming. Robert Shaw excels at playing the villain, so its no surprise how well he does as Doyle Lonnegan. Shaw gives the mob boss an aura of menace and if you watch the poker game between Shaw and Newman, you'll see just how effective Shaw is. Charles Durning plays the intimidating cop on everyone's trail and does well.The screenplay, written by David S. Ward, is one of the best screenplays I had the fortune to read. Sure his words were executed flawlessly on screen by the actors, but after all a good movie cannot exist with a bad screenplay. Ward gave his movie excellent dialogue, a fast pace, and many twists that can be complicated. That is where we come into the directing. George Roy Hill directed the 1967 classic, Butch Sundance and the Cassidy Kid (which I haven't seen yet), but I hear how influential that movie is to modern cinema. This film needed good directing to make the story connect with the audience, and Hill does a magnificent job. This movie could have easily been a mumble jumble of a mess. The beginning scene where Redford performs a con worked beautifully thanks to Hill and the final hour where Newman and Redford had to pretend not to know each other, while taking turns to perform their beig heist on Lonnegan sounds impossible to do, but Hill did a wonderful job in making everything work.Another part of the movie that adds to the vibrant, fun aura of the movie is the music, which was adapted by Marvin Hamslich. He makes good use of Scott Joplin's ragtime music. His music faded from popularity by the 1930's (the decade of this film), but his music still had the perfect kind of tone this movie had. This is another reason why I loved the movie: to listen to the great music.I very much enjoyed The Sting. It was a very fun movie to watch from start to finish. The movie tended to get a little complicated at times, but the direction of film is why the movie did not lose me. This was superbly written and wonderfully acted. Newman and Redford looked like they were having fun and they have great chemistry together. The movie looked very stylish thanks to the art direction and costume designs. This movie gave off a fun atmosphere and that's all I wanted. Nominated for ten Oscars and winning seven of them (including Best Picture and Director), this film is a must-see if you want an entertaining movie.My Grade: A

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Wow, what a masterpiece!I re-watched The Sting recently for my family who'd never seen it. The story line depicts a bunch of grifters who need to take down a big-time mobster bank in the 1930's. What an all-star cast of actors in the prime of their careers - Robert Redford as the youngster who needs schooling in the ways, Paul Newman as the grizzled veteran, Robert Shaw as the big- time mobster, and tons of superb supporting stars you will recognize.The acting is terrific. The music is great. The plot will keep you on your seat from start to end. The Sting keeps you rooting for the underdogs throughout. This film is one of the rare gems that will be fun for young and middle and old folks alike. Except for some gun shot violence, and a little tawdry scenes with all that gambling houses offer, this film is fine for all. Sit back and enjoy the ride. The Sting - a must see masterpiece! Enjoy.

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