The Sting (Full Screen Edition)
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The winner of 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, The Sting has become one of America's favorite and most critically acclaimed films. Robert Redford and Paul Newman star as two con men in the 1930's out to avenge the death of a friend. They seek revenge on a crime lord (Robert Shaw) with a "sting" that is one of the greatest double-crosses in movie history, complete with an amazing surprise finish. Directed by George Ray Hill and written by David S. Ward.
Winner of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay, this critical and box-office hit from 1973 provided a perfect reunion for director George Roy Hill and stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who previously delighted audiences with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Set in 1936, the movie's about a pair of Chicago con artists (Newman and Redford) who find themselves in a high-stakes game against the master of all cheating mobsters (Robert Shaw) when they set out to avenge the murder of a mutual friend and partner. Using a bogus bookie joint as a front for their con of all cons, the two feel the heat from the Chicago Mob on one side and encroaching police on the other. But in a plot that contains more twists than a treacherous mountain road, the ultimate scam is pulled off with consummate style and panache. It's an added bonus that Newman and Redford were box-office kings at the top of their game, and while Shaw broods intensely as the Runyonesque villain, The Sting is further blessed by a host of great supporting players including Dana Elcar, Eileen Brennan, Ray Walston, Charles Durning, and Harold Gould. Thanks to the flavorful music score by Marvin Hamlisch, this was also the movie that sparked a nationwide revival of Scott Joplin's ragtime jazz, which is featured prominently on the soundtrack. One of the most entertaining movies of the early 1970s, The Sting is a welcome throwback to Hollywood's golden age of the '30s that hasn't lost any of its popular charm. --Jeff Shannon
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Top customer reviews
I'm 65, so I can remember the stories my old man told about those days when hustling in the streets [or wherever!] was just LIFE for many, many people. Even in my day, "Three-card monte," the "pigeon drop," and other con hustles were in play. I once ALMOST got clipped by pigeon drop artists. I won't [out of embarrasment!!] give the details. But, after they offered me this incredible deal [the "fools," as they had me believing], I go home and tell my then wife, "Give me ALL the money you got!!" She protested, but being young I just rolled over her.
Then I went in the back [my mother was staying with us], and I go, "Mamma, gimme every dime you got! I got a CHUMP out here!" She goes, "WHAT!!!???" I go, "C'mon, Mamma." She demanded that I tell her what the deal was. I didn't get 5 words out of my mouth, when she hollered, "PIGEON DROP!! CALL THE POLICE!!" Damn. I felt like a fool. It was quickly obvious to me that I'd almost been duped. She told me, "Don't feel too bad--your dad DID get clipped by the pigeon drop, when he was a young man." She smiled. My wife laughed her ass off.
ALL of the dialogue--the con talk, the street talk, were real ("You blew it like a pimp!! I didn't teach you to be no pimp!!") Very similar words I used to hear when I was a shorty. And all the hustles they show were real, and VERY well done--excellently done--in the movie. The period costumes, and the entire set pulls you into that time in history--right into the movie. By the time you get to the end, you're ready to find what few remaining REAL con men might still exist, and sit at their feet so you can pull a big con!! Well, those days are gone now. All the con men, today, are called POLITICIANS (and TV commercial actors).
I don't know if I should say this, but you will NOT guess the SURPRISE ending. You simply won't. And it might be the very best part of the movie. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since I've purchased this movie, I've watched it FIVE TIMES. Ridiculous, right! Well, I'm going for the SIXTH time when my son comes over. I want him to see how it was when people, though they were doing "crime," were living at a time when it was about pure survival.
Also, in truth, what motivated them, and kept them from even THINKING about a "square" job, was the desire to be FREE; to not be ordered around, by some so-called "boss," on a dead-end, humdrum, low-paying gig. Street men and women were GENIUSES, many of them, that could have done anything, had they gone "legit." And it wasn't because they didn't have smarts. They did. They just wanted to be free to use those smarts in a unique and thrilling way--DANGEROUS way, in fact, as you'll see in the movie.
Ahhh, those were the days!! And all depicted just PERFECTLY in The Sting!!
There was no problem with aspect ratio. I saw the movie so many times I would have noticed if the tiniest detail was missing. It's worth getting the DVD just so you can frame by frame the scene where John Scarne (in the guise of Paul Newman) deals seconds. Baffling; undetectable; seamless.
I was slightly disappointed there was no director's commentary, nor any real bonus features to speak of. But still worth five stars at the price, and come on -- if you have a DVD collection you HAVE to have The Sting!
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