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A movie directed by George Roy Hill

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The boys are back in town

  • May 11, 2000
Pros: great movie

Cons: ........

Bringing together Hollywood's bad boys again, The Sting stars Newman and Redford as a couple of con artists going for the biggest sting of all time.

Redford, who has effectively ticked off most of the gangsters in Joilet, heads for Chicago to meet the greatest con artist of them all, Newman. Redford's crime partner in Joilet has been killed off and Redford wants to avenge his death. Newman, a drunk with little redemption, fears joining Redford due to his inexperience, but decides to take the chance.

Redford and Newman set up the world's largest bookie joint, entirely fake. Fronted by all the local con artists wanting to help avenge the death of Redford's partner. The sting they are attempting to pull off is unbelievable and just a tad bit funny. The fact that they succeed makes it that much sweeter.

Redford and Newman take a train ride to join in a little poker party with their nemesis, Shaw, who was responsible for the death of Redford's partner. Shaw, noted as a cheating card shark is the perfect foil for Newman, who portrays himself as an alcoholic fool. Newman starts winning and continues to win, amazing the cheating Shaw, until it is finally down to the two of them and $15,000 in the pot. Shaw holds four 9's, Newman four 3's - Shaw calls and lays down his 9's - Newman produces four Jacks. Quite the shark himself! Attempting to pay his debt, Shaw discovers his billfold missing and gets further tangled in the great con.

Arriving back in Chicago, all three meet up with Newman telling Shaw his great scheme - he has a friend that wires him the race results before the race is actually announced, affording him the opportunity to heave a sure bet. Setting up Shaw in this major con, they let him bet and win a few times before moving in for the kill.

Finally the day arrives and Shaw plops down his ½ mill, waiting for his 4 to 1 payoff, given the false information. Seconds before the ‘race' starts, they tell him he was supposed to bet to place not win and he rushes to change his bet but is not successful. In the meantime, the sting continues when the fake FBI agents storm the operation - Newman shoots Redford, FBI shoots Newman, and Shaw rushes out, leaving his ½ mill behind. Of course, no one is dead and all receive the money and happily go on their way - Shaw gets shafted.

I don't think at any time there have been two actors that offset each other as well as Newman and Redford. Their rugged good looks coupled with their zany characters give spark to any movie there are in, joined together - dynamite! Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning 7, this films offers something for everyone.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Hoping that box-office lighting might strike twice, George Roy Hill again joined forces with Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who star as con men Henry Gondorff and Johnny Hooker in THE STING. In the Chicago of the 1930s, Johnny's partner, Luther (Robert Earl Jones), is fatally wounded by a victim of one of their scams who turns out to be powerful syndicate boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Eager for revenge, Johnny takes a tip from his dying partner and seeks out mutual friend Gondorff, a consummate master of the long con. Gondorff rouses himself from his alcoholic inertia and agrees to help Johnny take down the despicable Lonnegan, conscripting an army of grifters ready to avenge their friend's death. The labyrinthine plot, which is stuffed with false leads, red herrings, and a double-cross-a-minute, involves a fake bookie joint, a very persistent FBI agent, a bunch of corrupt cops, and one shifty dame. An extremely entertaining film, the Oscar-winning film transcends the genre through the superb actin...
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Director: George Roy Hill
Release Date: 1973
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: Universal Studios Home Video (March 31, 1998)
Runtime: 2hr 9min
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