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226 of 240 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHY NOT GET THE FACTS BEFORE COMPLAINING???
I just bought this DVD for my father because this movie IS a classic, no matter what anyone says. But, when it came in the mail, I was surprised to see "Full Screen" on the front of the box. So I did what many of you did NOT do (with the exception of reviewer cammonro dated Sept 2, 2003), I went to the Universal web site and emailed their Home Entertainment division...
Published on December 16, 2004 by J. Caruso

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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As a film 5 stars, as a DVD 0 stars
I recently purchased and watched what is undoubtedly a film classic, The Sting. I purchased my DVD player and DVDs to engage in the "Cinema Experience" in my home.
When I purchased "The Sting" I noted the 1:33:1 format, but hey, maybe the original wasn't in Widescreen.
My first disappointment came with the "this screen has been...
Published on May 27, 1999


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226 of 240 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHY NOT GET THE FACTS BEFORE COMPLAINING???, December 16, 2004
By 
I just bought this DVD for my father because this movie IS a classic, no matter what anyone says. But, when it came in the mail, I was surprised to see "Full Screen" on the front of the box. So I did what many of you did NOT do (with the exception of reviewer cammonro dated Sept 2, 2003), I went to the Universal web site and emailed their Home Entertainment division.

From Universal Studios Home Entertainment:

'The Sting' is only available on DVD in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, which in this case displays the same picture information side-to-side as was seen theatrically. Also, more information is shown top-to-bottom than in the theatrical version because of the way the film was originally shot.

One process used in creating movies for theatrical exhibition is to place 'mattes' over the top and bottom of the 35 mm film frame to alter the aspect ratio to 1.85:1 'Widescreen.' To avoid black letterboxing bars on the top and bottom of the picture when it is displayed on standard television, the original mattes are removed in a process known as 'Open Matte.' (This is not to be confused with 'Pan & Scan,' a completely different process of transferring film to Video and DVD.) 'Open Matte' was used with in the production of 'The Sting.'

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. For all of you complaining about how this DVD is PAN-AND-SCAN, you are WRONG. And for all of you still waiting for WIDESCREEN, you ALREADY HAVE IT with this DVD if you understand what Universal is saying above; you are actually seeing MORE than what you'd see in the theater version because of the "Open Matte" process Universal used, NOT pan-and-scan.

If anyone begs to differ with these facts, argue with the source, Universal.
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481 of 525 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop whining about "full screen"!, December 17, 2004
By 
Please stop whining about this DVD's aspect ratio. It's not "full-screen." It's widescreen with the original top and bottom sections restored.
According to film historian David P. Hayes, THE STING was filmed in 4:3 (equivalent to "full-screen") ratio because director George Roy Hill wanted it to look like an old movie. The studio (and/or the exhibitors) apparently had second thoughts about it, though, so theatrically-released prints had the top and bottom sections blocked ("matted") to fit the widescreen format.
What you see on this DVD is not "pan and scan" (with missing left and right content), but the original format with the top and bottom restored.
(...)
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Movie on HD DVD!, February 12, 2007
This review is from: The Sting [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
Honestly i've seen better HD DVD's but still this one is remastered like crazy,its a hell of alot clearer than the original dvd release and its amazing to see what they can do with movies such as old as this one. I mean 1973 this movie comes out and after watching the HD DVD you would think it was a new release. All in all to keep this short this is an amazing film and you should pick it up on HD DVD right now!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We "gotcha" but you don't know it!, September 9, 2003
The most successful "sting" occurs when a victim never realizes that she or he has been "stung." In this Academy Award winning best film, that would be Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), a mobster/gambler in Chicago in the 1930s who is bilked out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) and his associates who include Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford). Credit George Roy Hill with brilliant direction of an especially talented cast. The musical score is eminently appropriate, devised by Marvin Hamlisch based on the works of Scott Joplin. A great deal of real or apparent blood is shed as elaborate preparations for the sting are completed. Most of the characters are not who and what they seem. We know what Gondorff and Newman are up to, of course, which adds to the fun. But there is a twist near the end of the film which fooled me. The narrative is seamless. The pace is expeditious but unhurried. In all respects, this is a thoroughly entertaining film but also one which at least suggests some darker regions of human nature. Those who enjoy it may wish to check out The Grifters (1990) which also has a bittersweet flavor at times. For broader humor, I suggest Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988).
NOTE: My comments are limited entirely to the film itself. Although the image and sound are clearer than in the VHS format, the supplementary features are unworthy of this Academy Award winning best film.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FULL SCREEN AND WIDESCREEN ARE BOTH GREAT, August 23, 2005
By 
E (California, USA) - See all my reviews
Here's the real deal. The U.S. out-of-print "The Sting" DVD's are full screen. The U.S. September 6, 2005 "The Sting" DVD is cropped widescreen. I have watched both presentations, and BOTH ARE FINE. Neither presentation distracts from the FUN. If widescreen gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, get the new one. Purists will want the old full screen with no top/bottom picture loss. The dreaded "This film has been modified from its original version - It has been formatted to fit this screen." message on the 1998 full screen version is MISLEADING. The only "modification" is more picture at the top and more picture at the bottom than the widescreen theatrical release had. The director shot the film using 35 mm 4:3 open matte, but his bosses chose to crop the theatrical version. Oh, and note that this and all earlier reviews were written before the September 6, 2005 cropped widescreen version release date.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest story-line ever written, February 16, 2000
This review is from: Sting [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The acting is wonderful, the suprises are unpredictable, and overall, this is one of the most original movies I've ever seen in my life. There can be no duplicates. And evey time i watch this movie, some how I notice about five things I've never seen before, like it changes every time. And no, I'm not an old movie collector or total classic lover, actually, I'm only sixteen. But this is easily one of my favorite movies in history. My favorite scene is with the card playing on the train.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOTS OF "FUNNY MONEY", March 3, 2005
By 
What a great movie. The action in this movie seems real even though the money eluding the Chicago mobster Lonegan is fake. And there's a lot of action in this movie, so much so, that I was glad my mother was around to translate these 1930's grifters'/con artists' street talk. (My parents saw this movie in the theatre when it first came out in 1973). I don't remember much or any cursing. As another reviewer noted, what little adult material there is in this movie is mild by today's standards; the story line would keep your attention regardless. Times were tough in those depression years, my mom commenting that there was a lot of crime going on then. But Lonegan (Robert Shaw) is a straight-laced mobster, doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't chase women. His only weakness is gambling, especially betting on horses. Doesn't sound so bad, yet he hates to lose, and when he loses big money, he kills. His chief sins are unseen, except by those grifters, like Redford and Newman, who dare to interrupt his extortion racket. This movie won a lot of oscars in 1973, and is ranked by AFI as one of the top 400 films. Redford and Newman are so much fun to watch acting together. The last scene fooled me. Although no actors won any oscars for this film, the movie won Best Picture, Best Director among other awards. I can't really comment on the film quality of the dvd, since I saw it on a cable station. I defer to those reviewers who argue that the director wanted to film the movie the old fashioned way which accounts for the transfer problems/complaints. I just love a good story, this one's a keeper.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie / Bad DVD, July 2, 2000
By 
Universal should shood themselves for not respecting this movie on DVD; they released a THX re-mastered CHS version complete with a cute CD soundtrack and around the time they released this DVD.
The movie itself is excellent and quite funny in my opinion; Paul Newman was hilarous. "He cheats better than I do!" was the crime lord's words as Paul Newman's character cheats him.
I have no sympathy for Universal regarding the DVD of this. No widescreen and no Dolby Digital 5.1. My suggestion: Wait and maybe they'll release a better version.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful-- with One Nagging Flaw, June 29, 2006
The film is a classic, the restoration is beautiful, and the restored audio is excellent, with one inexplicable gaff. During a humorous dialog exchange, one of Redford's funniest lines is replaced with a sanitized-for-TV dub, which I had only ever heard on the broadcast version of the movie.

Original Dialog

Gondorf: Luther didn't tell me you had a big mouth.

Hooker: He didn't tell me you was a f**k-up, neither.

The perfect timing of the exchange is blown to bits by the dubbed in line, "He didn't tell me you was a screw-up, neither," which has neither the delivery nor the comic impact of Redford's original. Even if it meant getting the film re-rated, this movie deserved better treatment. Why a company would go the all the effort of restoring a classic, award-winning film, then leave in a clumsy, laugh-robbing dub like this, is a complete mystery to me.

Other than this one cringing moment, it's a true gem.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As a film 5 stars, as a DVD 0 stars, May 27, 1999
By A Customer
I recently purchased and watched what is undoubtedly a film classic, The Sting. I purchased my DVD player and DVDs to engage in the "Cinema Experience" in my home.
When I purchased "The Sting" I noted the 1:33:1 format, but hey, maybe the original wasn't in Widescreen.
My first disappointment came with the "this screen has been modified from its original format......" message. Then as soon as the film started rolling I was extremely disappointed by the quality of the picture and sound. By this alone I could tell that that the DVD was not produced using a "clean" original print.
Then to top it all off I soon discovered that the soundtrack had been dubbed! All of the more flowery exchanges had very cumbersome voiceovers dubbed over them.
I can only assume that Universal, deciding to cut corners, took a made for TV version off the shelf and produced a DVD from it. This goes against the whole notion of DVD, quality cinema in your home.
The Execs. at Universal obviously are not on the same page as people like me who have been waiting for a consumer medium like DVD ever since we discovered the joys of film. I recommend that to anyone, who has a feel for what I am talking about , not by this DVD! If you still want to see the film, save your money and buy the VHS version instead. You'll get what you pay for.
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The Sting (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
The Sting (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) by George Roy Hill (Blu-ray - 2012)
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