Movie: The Sting
Release Date: December 25, 1973
Director: George Roy Hill
Starring: Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Robert Shaw, Eileen Brennan, Charles Durning, Robert Earl Jones
Personal History: Never Watched Before
Rating: 8.25 Oscars out of 10
Similar to ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai,’ my viewing history with ‘The Sting’ is a bit “yes I saw it,” and “no I didn’t see it.” I remember the movie being played in my house as a kid as it was a favorite of my father. I remember the music, I remember the “finger on the nose gesture” and I remember Paul Newman and Robert Redford in their 1930’s wardrobe. Come to think of it, it’s possible I only saw the trailer on HBO. But that’s not accurate as I definitely remember my family watching the movie and being entertained with me either too young to notice, pay attention or care.
‘The Sting’ was a huge commercial and critical success when it was released in 1973. It was the second highest-grossing film of that year and went on to win seven Oscars, including Best Picture, from its ten nominations. Critics adored this movie and today it is still revered as on of the best crime heist films thanks to its superb screenplay.
Not having seen the movie from beginning to end and with no real idea of the plot, besides it involving a lot of con jobs, I went in pretty blind. With that said, I did know the two actors in the lead roles, Mr. Newman and Mr. Redford. They were in another family favorite film together, ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” (Another movie that I have not seen in its entirety, if at all.) What I did not know was the fantastic supporting cast also involved in the movie. Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Eileen Brennan, Ray Walston and Harold Gould (aka Miles Webber from ‘The Golden Girls’) are all spectacular in the movie.
The story is intricate but so well plotted out that it is so difficult not to be entertained with the twists and turns that happen throughout the two hours. It is very ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ and ‘Knives Out’-esque in storytelling, two film series and styles that I adore. I smiled, laughed and was thoroughly entertained by the movie. Even if I wasn’t, Paul Newman’s eyes and Robert Redford’s hairy chest would have made me watch the movie until the closing credits. I mean, talk about gorgeous.
‘The Sting’ is a slick, fun caper movie with enough charm, humor and drama to entertain even the toughest of critics. It’s ensemble is impeccable led by two giants in the acting profession. I can see why my family enjoyed it so much decades ago and I am glad I can finally say that not only did I watch the movie, but love it now as well.