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] I rate it as PERFECT. I imagine that few people know that the ...
on August 17, 2015
I try not to give 5-star ratings. But this move is THE BOMB!! [Do kids still say, "the bomb"?] I rate it as PERFECT. I imagine that few people know that the movie was actually based, in large part, on the life of the man considered to be the greatest con man of his day: Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil. And the HUGE con they pull off in the movie? Yep!! Yellow Kid used to pull of cons that would require his hiring up to 200 people AND MORE, all involved in clipping the mark
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!!