The Sting

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The Sting 1The Sting (1973)

Directed by George Roy Hill

Written by David S. Ward

Starring: Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Eileen Brennan

Johnny Hooker (Redford) is a young con-man in Chicago looking for payback after the death of his friend and associate. When he hooks up with a seasoned con-artist (Newman) they devise a con to take what they want. Now they’ve got to con the cons and put a team together to take down their target.

The Sting 3Writing a summary of this movie is nearly impossible since the twists and turns come throughout. This is all due to the excellent writing of David S. Ward (Sleepless in Seattle) who won an Oscar for Best Screenplay. His ability to carve out subtle twists and turns makes this movie fun to watch. Director George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) did an amazing job with the story, earning himself an Oscar for Best Director for this movie.

The Sting 2In addition to the two awards already named, the film earned an additional eight Oscar nominations, winning five. The wins included Best Picture, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, and Best Original Score. The other nominations were Best Actor in a Leading Role (Redford), Best Cinematography, and Best Sound.

The Sting 6This movie has an incredible cast to go along with the wonderful story. The stars include Robert Redford (Out of Africa), Paul Newman (Road to Perdition), Robert Shaw (Jaws), Charles Durning (Tootsie), and Eileen Brennan (The Last Picture Show). Their performances, along with the rest of the cast, work wonderfully in the telling of this wonderful story. I was particularly impressed with the chemistry between Newman and Redford. Their work together is wonderful to watch. This movie also features a great score and great images. The camera work is wonderful and the costuming creates an era from the past.

The Sting 4I only had one minor complaint from this film. I think that the story doesn’t require the length that it’s given. There are some moments that seem to be a bit overdone and tend to slow the overall pace of the movie. This isn’t a major issue, but the last third of the film loses a little steam. Thankfully the movie ends on a very strong note, making it all worth while.

The film has a lot going for it from a technical aspect, but the story and the people in it take center stage. This is a great film for anyone who loves a good crime drama. It’s also going to be fun for anyone who loves the Oceans films or movies like The Italian Job. This is also a great choice for fans of the stars in the film. I would also recommend this to anyone who just wants to see a good film. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG

Running Time: 129 Minutes


  1. Good review Jeff. I don’t know if it was fully deserving of Best Picture or not, but it still was a very pleasant, entertaining flick, made even better by the lovable chemistry between both Newman and Redford.


    1. Thanks for reading!

      In terms of the Best Picture Oscar I think it’s more than deserving considering the other nominees that year. American Graffiti, Cries and Whispers, The Exorcist, and A Touch of Class were all good films, but not this good.

      The Exorcist could’ve won if the Academy showed a little more love to the horror genre.


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