The Sting (1973)

Ahh, the classics.

Robert Redford, who is one of my favorite actors, always worked wonderfully with Paul Newman, and it’s just too bad that they never got to do another film together.

But this one, and Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid have enough Hollywood magic to keep me smiling.

Both films were also directed by Roy Hill, and I dread the moment when anyone thinks about remaking either of these films. Disgusted shivers.

Written by Davis S Ward, The Sting is set in the 30s, the story follows young con man Johnny Hooker (Redford) who is seeking revenge for the murder of his partners, when they grift the wrong guy, a courier running cash for crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw).

Setting off on his revenge, he partners up with Henry Gondorff (Newman) and begin a long con to ruin Lonnegan with an offtrack betting scam known as The Wire.

While some younger viewers may deem the film slow, I find it engaging, funny, witty, and love watching Newman and Redford work together, and pal around, all while conning Shaw.

With memorable piano rags by Scott Joplin, the film entertains, and has some wonderful sequences…

Newman, feigning drunkness, and an inability to pronounce Lonnegan’s name right, squares off against Shaw in a poker game. Both of them cheat, but Lonnegan can’t accuse Gondorff of cheating, because he’ll be caught himself.

And of course the whole end of the film is just one twist after another, and so much fun to watch, even if you’ve seen it before…

There are lifts, disguises, cons, grifts, cheating, dapper clothes, great music, and at its center three phenomenal actors, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Robert Shaw.

A classic, and eternally enjoyable film filled with some familiar faces like Ray Walston, Charles Durning, Eileen Brennan, and Dana Elcar.

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