Watch The Sting
- 2 hr 9 min
The Sting, released in 1973, stars Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Robert Shaw in a thrilling and intricate con artist plot. Set in the 1930s, the film follows Chicago grifter Johnny Hooker (played by Redford) who seeks revenge against a ruthless and powerful gangster, Doyle Lonnegan (Shaw), after one of his partners is murdered. Hooker enlists the help of veteran con artist Henry Gondorff (Newman) to orchestrate an elaborate and incredibly complicated scheme to swindle Lonnegan out of a significant sum of money.
The film is a masterclass in filmmaking, with incredible attention to detail paid to the costume design, sets, and music, which perfectly captures the mood and spirit of the era. The Sting's score won an Academy Award for its ragtime-inspired music, composed by Marvin Hamlisch.
The plot of the film is dense and multi-layered, as Hooker and Gondorff assemble a team of fellow con artists to pull off the ultimate sting. The intricate web of deceit and misdirection is impressive, with a labyrinthine structure that keeps the viewer guessing until the very end. Every aspect of the con is thought through in great detail, with twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
The film's strongest asset, however, is its ensemble cast. Paul Newman and Robert Redford have an undeniable chemistry that makes their partnership feel completely natural and effortless. Their characters have a clear mentor-mentee dynamic, but the film wisely avoids tropes and clichÃ©s, allowing the relationship to develop in a more nuanced and complex way.
Robert Shaw, meanwhile, delivers an outstanding performance as the gangster Lonnegan. He is a force to be reckoned with, a man who commands respect and fear with equal measure. Lonnegan's single-minded pursuit of revenge is both terrifying and impressive, making him one of the most memorable villains in cinema history.
The film's production design deserves special mention, as it truly transports the viewer back to the 1930s. The costumes are immaculate, with every detail paid attention to, from the cut of the suits to the trilby hats worn by the male characters. The sets are similarly impressive, with the film's finale taking place in a luxurious, Art Deco-inspired casino that looks like something out of The Great Gatsby.
Director George Roy Hill deserves credit not only for his direction of the film, but also for his collaboration with his cast and crew. He brings a deft touch to the script that balances humour and suspense, ensuring that the audience is both invested in the characters and engaged in the unfolding plot.
The Sting's legacy is apparent in the many works of art it has influenced over the years, including David O. Russell's American Hustle and Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven. Its impact on the heist movie genre can still be seen today, nearly 50 years after its initial release.
Overall, The Sting is a triumph of cinema, a film that seamlessly blends style, substance, and entertainment. Its cast, direction, production design, and story are all exemplary, making it one of the greatest movies of all time.
The Sting is a 1973 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 9 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.3 and a MetaScore of 83.