THE STING (Theatrical Release USA 1973)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Stars ìììì

The Sting—a classic—again emphasizes the outstanding magnetism achieved on screen when Robert Redford and Paul Newman cast together. The film is the best of the best both in script writing and entertainment value as it explores a long-term, multi-layered scam by a crew of expert con artists. The music revives Joplin’s ragtime music of the late 1800s and early 1900s as well as explores traditional American folk music and the best of American jazz. Everything works in this film.

Storyline

Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford), a small time scam artist, gets into trouble with big crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) by inadvertently intervening in a pigeon drop of money belonging to the gangster. His accomplice, Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones), is viciously murdered by Lonnigan thugs and Johnny Hooker flees for his life to Chicago with plans for a long-term ‘big’ scam to take down the crime boss in revenge for his friend’s death. Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), a professional, high class con man obligingly teaches Johnny Hooker how to plan and execute a big con. The rest of the film shows how the big con works from its creation to its hurrah.

Additional Thanks

Great Work for Director George Roy Hill. Thank you to Executive Producers David Brown and Richard D. Zanuck for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lieutenant William Snyder (Charles Durning), J.J. Singleton (Ray Walston), Billie (Eileen Brennan), Kid Twist (Harold Gould) Eddie Niles (John Heffernan), F.B.I. Agent Polk (Dana Elcar), Erie Kid (Jack Kehoe), Loretta (Dimitra Arliss), Floyd—a Bodyguard (Charles Dierkop), and Bodyguard (Lee Paul).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Completely entertaining intellectually and visually, The Sting is a good confidence man film. The icing on this cake is the well-placed and well-chosen musical scores and the outstanding all-star cast.

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Ben Meyers

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