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Winner of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, The Sting stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as two con men in 1930s Chicago. After a friend is killed by the mob, they try to get even by attempting to pull off the ultimate "sting." No one is to be trusted as the twists unfold, leading up to one of the greatest double-crosses in movie history. The con is on!
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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This is certainly one of the great films to come out of Hollywood.
Now we have this classic movie available in the Blu-ray format with great picture and sound. Being an audiophile of many years, I tend to notice the improvements in the audio first. Here, the title music has been remixed in stereo to provide a great improvement. The piano introduces the original Joplin theme and then the small orchestra comes in with great presence and power. The rhythmic nature of the music is notably enhanced by the power of the tuba, traditionally used in popular music of that time, although it is necessary to point out that ragtime music used exclusively in this film had long gone out of style by the 1930s. No matter -- it works perfectly here. The film uses sound stage interiors and sets, and beautiful sets they are depicting the Chicago Loop and buildings true to the time of the film and beautifully reproduced in Blu-ray clarity. For the sake of the one or two people in the world who haven't seen this movie, I won't go into the finish.
My favorite scene in this, and probably any other movie, is the conclusion of the poker game between Newman and Shaw on board the train to Chicago. Shaw has managed to sneak in a stacked deck ultimately dealing himself four nines and Newman four treys. He raises Newman's bet by $10,000 and, a little hesitant and slightly frowning, Newman sees the raise. Smiling, Shaw lays down his nines certain that he has won. Newman pauses for a second or two and then lays down his hand smiling and saying, "Four Jacks. You own me $10,000, pal." When I first saw this film in a theater, the audience was quiet for a few seconds until they realized what had happened. Then they began to howl with laughter. It's still the best played scene I've ever seen in a film. The expression on Shaw's face as he looks down at Newman's cards is unforgettable.
I doesn't matter how many times I've bought this movie in various formats, the Blu-ray is worth it -- I know I'll be watching it again.
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