Directed by George Roy Hill
Nominated for 10 Oscars, Won 7
Up Against: American Graffiti, Cries & Whispers, the Exorcist, A Touch of Class
The Sting is a story about con artists in the 1930's Depression. Johnny Hooker and his partners Luther and Joe con $11,000 off a man on the streets, not thinking they'd get that rich. Luther announces his retirement and suggests and tells Hooker about a friend he has, Henry Gondorff, saying he should go meet him and learn "the big con". However, things don't go according to plan. The man they conned money off was a numbers racket courier for a famous crime boss named Lonnegan. When a corrupt police officer confronts Hooker and demands part of the pay cut (Hooker had already spent it all), pays in counterfeit bills. Meanwhile, Lonnegan's men murder Luther and Hooker must now flee, and heads to Chicago to meet Gondorff. While Gondorff was a once-great, he's now in hiding and is a bit nervous to take on Lonnegan. But he comes around and the two set up the "big con" for Lonnegan.
I really enjoyed this film. This is the first Robert Redford film I've seen, and also my first Paul Newman one (what a treat they both were!) and both were so great. They were great at the double acting (con men, pretending to be several different people, all innocent) and were real trouble-makers. But my favourite part of the entire film was the score. Compiled of mostly Scott Joplin's music composed in the early 1900's, and though not historically accurate for the time period (ragtime was no longer popular in the 30's), but was really really great. It fit the time so well, and was just so fun. It gave the film a bit of a lighter feel when darker music could've made the film more dramatic and sullen. It gave the film a spark quality, and really lit it up.
Additionally, the twists and turns the movie took were great. It really was a thinking movie, and it's so sad how little films like this are made any more. It was well thought out, entertaining, and had a few laughs that balanced the film out well.
Overall, the film was really good. It was a great showcase for Paul Newman and Robert Redford (who looks so much like Brad Pitt. Anyone else notice that?). It was a clever, kind of fun Best Picture as opposed to a lot of the more dramatic, serious, depressing ones.
Emotional Connection- 8/10
Overall Enjoyment- 9/10
Overall Package- 8.5/10