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Quick Review - Universal's The Sting

...all it takes is a little confidence.

The Sting is a 1973 crime film directed by George Roy Hill, written by David S. Ward, produced by Universal Pictures and The Zanuck / Brown Company, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman. It was nominated for and won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score while also being nominated for Best Actor, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound. In 2005, the film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant.

"Not only are you a cheat. You're a gutless cheat as well." - Doyle Lonnegan


Con man Johnny Hooker is forced to go on the run when he angers the wrong people and his friend ends up dead. To get revenge, Hooker joins forces with professional grifter Henry Gondorff to pull off the biggest, most ambitious sting of his lifetime.

My Favorite Part of The Sting

I think the thing that works best about The Sting is the way that it's structured. The film has a lot going on throughout. That isn't to say it's overstuffed or confusing. You are just wondering how all of the various pieces connect. The script plays it out very well, because you will forget about one plotline only for it to come back in a big way and shock you. The ending of the film is the best example of this. It's completely surprising and extremely clever. It's just a well-written, incredibly entertaining crime film.

My Least Favorite Part of The Sting

I didn't really dislike that much about this movie. I think there are parts where it drags a little bit. The characters are fun and interesting, but near the end of the movie, it tries to force in some emotional character moments that feel like too little, too late. It slows the story down and you just want to get back to all of the con stuff. But that's really a nitpick. This is a great movie.

Why The Sting Is Great

A great script usually makes for a great movie, and The Sting is easily one of the best-written films I have ever seen. Combine that with an entertaining atmosphere and some great performances by Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Robert Shaw, and you've got an incredible movie. The 30s aesthetic works. The thrilling crime aspect of it works. Everything just comes together to create a great, great film.

Final Thoughts and Score

The Sting is considered one of the best movies ever made for a reason. The acting, screenplay, direction, and fantastic piano rag music make for a movie everyone should watch.

I will go Sweet here. Age range is 9+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)

"The Sting"

Fun Factor: 8.5/10

Acting: 9/10

Story: 10/10

Characters: 7.5/10

Quality: 9.5/10

Directed by George Roy Hill

Rated PG for moderate violence, language, disturbing themes and images, thematic elements

Released on December 25, 1973

2 hours and 9 minutes

Robert Redford as Johnny Hooker

Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff

Robert Shaw as Doyle Lonnegan

Robert Earl Jones as Luther Coleman

Charles Durning as Lieutenant William Snyder

Eileen Brennan as Billie

Dimitra Arliss as Loretta

Harold Gould as Kid Twist

Dana Elcar as Agent Polk

Charles Dierkop as Floyd


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