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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2016
The Sting is a must see for everyone; the cinematic screen at its ultimate best with superb performances from Redford and Newman. A superbly written script could not have achieved so much without Newman and Redford as this is probably their best acting performance ever. Sit back and just enjoy - if you've not seen this before you are in for a treat.
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on 10 June 2011
This is an award winning oldie (1970) that's great fun with a good dose of suspense. Sweet revenge of the con men on the 'really' bad guy. Intricate deception, timing and comedy combine to keep you on the edge of your chair with a surprise ending to thorooughly satisfy. Charming fun as Redford and Newman carry off a complex sting with similar quirky comedy twists as the 1990 Australian "Big Steal" where Ben Mendelsohn takes revenge on the con man so star Steve Bisley while trying to get on with his romance.
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on 7 May 2016
I decided to buy this film from the' good as new' section for a very good price and am very pleased. Good as new looks new to me. I originally bought this film on video and am fed up of paying too much money to replace LP's and Cassettes and video's for Cd's and DVD's. This is the perfect solution and the quality of the film is just as good as it was on the video. I will be doing this again :)
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on 4 March 2016
One of the greatest con films ever made.
Actors very professional and the story is excellent.
Redford and Newman great actors.
This film can be shown in any era and will still get 5 stars.
Age of this film does not matter.
The story is about Horseracing and betting cons.
Similar betting cons are apparent today but not on this scale.
Skullduggery is rife in racing and authorities not prepared to stamp out.
In addition,
There is the Sting 2 with Robert Shaw.
This is based on card conning.
Excellent but not as good as.
Would recommend anyone who engages into reading good books and becoming part of the story to purchase this DVD.
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on 2 June 2005
The year is 1936, and while generally there's a depression on, small-time Joliet grifter Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and his pals Luther Coleman and Joe Erie (Robert Earl Jones and Jack Kehoe) have just hit the big one, taking over $10,000 from a mark in a routine street con. What they don't know, unfortunately, is that their mark is actually a runner for the Illinois operation of New York banker-turned-mob boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), who loses no time sending a pair of killers after them, commenting dryly that "you can't encourage this kind of thing ... ya' folla'?" Hours later, Luther is found dead below his living room window. Shocked and angry, Johnny and Joe nevertheless know they have to beat it, and quickly. Johnny decides to go to Chicago, to look up Luther's old friend Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), whom Luther has described as a true big-timer. He is less than impressed, however, when he finds Gondorff sleeping off the previous night's booze, actually lying in a corner *beside* his bed. His impression only changes after they have started to talk (and not before he has given him a good drenching in the bath tub to sober him up) and Hooker begins to get an inkling that this guy Gondorff actually does know what he's talking about.
Thus, the scene is set for one of film history's greatest con operations, in which Gondorff and Hooker devise a scheme to sting Lonnegan out of a half million dollars in a venture including everything from a bamboozled poker round (courtesy of technical advisor John Scarne, whose hands doubled for Newman's) to a scam bookmaking outfit and the temporary hijacking of a telegraph office - as much in revenge for Luther's death (because, as Hooker explains, he "[doesn't] know enough about killing to kill [Lonnegan]") as for the scheme's financial prospect, which alone is big enough to make it worthwhile; and then, of course there is the thrill of the chase itself! And they're not even put off by the fact that Hooker is sought, besides by Lonnegan's killers, by Joliet "bunko" cop Snyder (Charles Durning) - less because of the latter's official duties, though, but because, bullied by Snyder into coughing up the better part of his share of the take from Lonnegan's runner, Hooker has had the brilliant idea of passing him counterfeit money; thus incurring the cop's wrath as surely as he has already incurred Lonnegan's.
"The Sting" reprised the successful cooperation of Redford, Newman and director George Roy Hill that had paid off so well four years earlier in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," earning Hill one of seven Academy Awards - the most coveted one besides "Best Movie," which also went to this movie - and Redford his first "Best Actor" Oscar nomination (why Newman wasn't likewise at least nominated will forever remain one of the Academy's mysteries). The screenplay was inspired by David W. Maurer's 1940 book "The Big Con," which chronicles the exploits of several depression-era con artists whose names, in turn, inspired those of several of the movie's characters, including Henry Gondorff, J.J. Singleton, Eddie Niles and Kid Twist (the latter three played with panache, wit and tongue firmly planted in cheek by Ray Walston, John Heffernan and the great, prolific Harold Gould).
Screenwriter David S. Ward - another one of the film's seven Oscar winners - created Hooker's role with Robert Redford in mind from the start. Redford, however, initially declined and only changed his mind (still not expecting the movie to be a major success) after Jack Nicholson had likewise turned it down in the interim. He would soon be proven dead wrong; indeed, everything came together as in a dream for the production: Two stars with confirmed on-screen chemistry, each of whom alone possessed enough charisma to turn even the slightest scene into a magical moment but who together were darn near unbeatable; a despite an not entirely convincing Irish accent eminently credible, intelligent and menacing villain; a great supporting cast that also included Eileen Brennan (Gondorff's girlfriend Billie), Dimitra Arliss (Hooker's love interest Loretta), Dana Elcar (would-be FBI Agent Polk) and Charles Dierkop (Lonnegan's right-hand man Floyd); a spunky script with new plot twists and memorable one-liners at every corner; meticulously researched, spot-on cinematography and art direction, earning the film Academy Award No. 4 (Art Direction) plus a nomination in the "Best Cinematography" category - all the more amazing as the movie was filmed almost entirely on Universal's back lot and includes only a few days' worth of location shots - likewise meticulously researched period costumes (Oscar No. 5 for the film and No. 7 for honoree Edith Head, out of no less than 25 (!) nominations); superb camerawork and editing (Oscar No. 6, Editing) and last but not least an Oscar-winning soundtrack, compiled by Marvin Hamlisch from Scott Joplin's ragtime tunes - which actually were no longer popular in the 1930s but fit the movie's tone like a tee.
Having watched the movie countless times, I sometimes wonder (only now that I'm finally reasonably familiar with its breathtaking plot twists, I hasten to add) whether it makes sense that in a well-organized outfit like Lonnegan's, which instantly identified Hooker, Coleman and Erie as the grifters who had conned their runner and also instantly knew their places of abode, both in Joliet *and* Hooker's new Chicago address, the right hand should have been so ignorant of the left hand's pursuits that it never dawned on anyone that the kid conning himself into Lonnegan's confidence under the name Kelly was actually none other than the Johnny Hooker they were pursuing for the Joliet hit. But ultimately this is nit-picking I'll admit, and it does not take away one iota of the movie's fun and overall class.
So, settle down with a beer, pop in the DVD (where is the special edition, Universal???) and enjoy - for the flag is up ... and they're off again!!
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on 1 February 2001
This 1973 offering from director George Roy Hill reunites the two Hollywood stars, Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and captivates the viewer with an delightful and irresistable tale of life as a con-artist. It is not hard to understand why "The Sting" received seven Academy Awards, including best picture. Robert Redford plays a small-time drifter, Hooker, hoping to advance onto the "Big Con", and seeking to get back at the man who killed his partner. Such a role is hard to perform without appearing clichéd, and yet Redford conveys his part with both youthful energy and a sensitivity which immediately allows the viewer to sympathize with him. Such sympathy is critical for the later stages of the film, as Hooker endures emotional dilemmas which serve to sustain the energy of the film, and set up the infamous final twist. Indeed, this is the greatest strength of "The Sting". With a plot of such intricacy and deception, it would be easy for the human element to be lost, and for the writer to instead rely purely on plot twists to hold the viewer's attention. Of course, such a film would be cheap, lacking emotional vigour, and would not be worthy of such acclaim. Writer David S. Ward has done a tremendous job in ensuring that character relations are highly developed. He is helped by the natural chemistry between Redford and Newman, which is a joy to behold. Newman is every bit as impressive in his role as veteran con man Gondorf, and Robert Shaw adds the final piece to the jigsaw in his deliciously vicious portrayal of city crime lord, Doyle Lonnegan. Despite the obvious importance and benefit of such superior acting, the plot of "The Sting" is what has helped it become one of the most popular and memorable films of all time. The manner in which these con-artists put "the sting" on Doyle is excruciatingly clever, exciting and original. With a stunning script, and a host of acting talent on display, "The Sting" remains one of the greatest cinematic achievements of the 1970s.
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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2007
This must be one of the best movies ever made.
In the seventies Messrs Newman and Redford made several films together and they went together like Bob and Bing. They are ably supported by a kaleidascope of stars and boy do they pull it off. We used to say at the time, "You don't have a leading lady now - you have Robert Redford"!!!! Set in the Depression in the thirties they overcome adventures and problems to pull off a magnificent con. The sting in the tail really is a sting and would do a scorpion proud.
The younger generation are so accustomed to the predictable nonsense that is coming out of Hollywood these days, it is great to see what they were capable of pulling off thirty years ago.
If you haven't seen this film, then DON'T MISS IT.
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on 14 September 2005
As someone has already said, this film is in mono, which is rather odd. Also it's not anamorphic widescreen, rather it's a widescreen presentation in a 4:3 frame, so if you've got a widescreen tv you have to use 'cinema' mode to get it full screen and it's considerably lower resolution than a real widescreen version would be. Also the picture is fairly low quality and dirty.
So, a DVD produced with the minimum of expense and care. Hope someone does a quality version some day cause it's a great film.
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on 10 July 2015
The Sting is a wonderful film about con-artists in 1930s Chicago. It is fast-paced, amusing and beautifully crafted with a wonderful story. The cast are superb with Newman and Redman dominating proceedings as the veteran con-man and the small-time trickster seeking his help respectively. The DVD itself while lacking many extras does provide some interesting textual profiles of the main members of the cast and the director. All in all an excellent film and an all-time classic.
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on 23 July 2002
Okay, this is unfortunately going to be one of those gushing reviews I put out, well, quite a lot, let's be frank. I love this film, it's that simple, and I'm here to tell you why.
First off, Newman and Redford are without doubt, one of, if not the best cinematic double bill ever, playing off each other with tremendous charisma and chemistry, helped along by slick, plished direction and a cracking script. Of the supporting cast, Harold Gould and Ray Walston as two of the co-conspirators are a joy to watch, and Robert Shaw (hardly a supporting player really) makes Doyle Lonnegan into a hard-hearted, cynical, cold-blooded rackets boss, 'a man who'd kill a grifter over a pile of money that wouldn't last him a week!' to quote (or possibly misquote) Newman's Henry Gondorff. Oh, and Charles Durning's corrupt cop Lt. Snyder is great, truly dislikeable.
George Roy Hill's direction is as smooth as you'd like, the pace nver letting up for the two hour running time. The musical montage detailing Gondorff preparing Redford's Johnny Hooker for life in 'the Big Con', whilst rounding up the old gang, is a treat, something I always smile when watching, and set, as with the rest of the film, to the Scott Joplin score that fits the film perfectly. The storyboard style of the film has been commented as breaking the rhythm, but I disagree, I think it helps the movie, letting the viewer see the sting unfold in its consituent parts. And the poker game halfway through the film is a)gripping, a testament to the actors and the direction, and b)very funny, a testament to the script.
Unlike some movies that sweep the board at the Oscars, this one could be said to deserve the awards it reaped.
If you have some cash to spare, you could do far far worse than buy this movie. If you liked Butch Cassidy.. you'll like this, from the first time you watch it, to the next, and the next. Oh, and in case you hadn't heard, the ending's a peach.
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