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The Sting 1973

PG CC

Johnny Hooker is a young con-man who is being taught by Luther. One day they pull one of their con jobs and net themselves a huge roll. What they don't know is that the man they conned is the courier for a numbers runner. And it turns out that the boss, Doyle Lonigan, considers it an attack on him and orders all the people involved terminated. Hooker is shaken down by a crooked cop, Snyder, who threatens to turn him over to Lonigan unless he pays him off. Hooker pays him, he then tries to warn Luther but is too late. He then goes to see Henry Gondorf, a friend of Luther's and a one time great con-man, who has had a bit of bad luck. After hearing what happened to Luther and seeing how hungry Hooker is for payback, he assembles a gang and decides to con Lonigan. While everything seems to be going ok, there is just the problem of the hit on Hooker and Snyder, whom Hooker paid off with counterfeit money.

Starring:
Paul Newman, Robert Redford
Runtime:
2 hours, 9 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Morrison on February 12, 2007
Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: DVD
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.
1 Comment 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Director George Roy Hill had a hit with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, and four years later he brought the movie's two stars together again in The Sting. Paul Newman and Robert Redford had a natural chemistry that appealed to audiences, so the comedy adventure of western cowboy outlaws in the first decade of the 1900s was followed by the comedy adventure of eastern criminal grifters in the 1930s.

The Sting was another huge hit, with Newman as the wise old con man Henry Gondorff, and Redford as the up-and-coming con man Johnny Hooker. All the way down the cast list you find accomplished actors, and the intricate screenplay needed just such pros to make it work. Robert Shaw portrays an Irish gangster, Doyle Lonnegan, a tough who tells one of his henchmen that he would even kill a childhood friend if necessary to preserve his hold on the mob.

Gondorff and Hooker, the small-time grifters, are out for revenge against Lonnegan for killing one of their old con-man accomplices. Regarding Lonnegan, Johnny Hooker says "he's not as tough as he thinks", to which the more experienced Gondorff replies, "neither are we." Gritty realism flows through the entire film, but the story is told with a light comedic touch. Of special note is the soundtrack music of Scott Joplin, now most famous for "The Entertainer" due to its use in The Sting. Joplin's music was actually from a time even earlier than the setting of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but its spirit does seem to fit the time of The Sting.

When a film succeeds, or when it fails, much credit or blame is due the director. George Roy Hill took this complex story, delicately balanced between tragedy and farce, and made it work.
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Format: DVD
...I am a cinematography purist. I'm giving it 5 stars anyway, because this film is that good!

The 1998 DVD release of "The Sting" was not a "pan-and-scan" treatment -- as incorrectly stated (still!) in the amazon.com listing for it -- but the whole, uncut film image, presented as intended by the director and cinematographer. George Roy Hill and Robert Surtees shot it as a 1.33:1 (4:3) film, and intended it to be seen in theaters that way. But the studio chickened out, thinking that people wouldn't want to see a 1.33:1 film 19 years after widescreen revolutionized the moviegoing experience in 1954, so they matted it into 1.85:1 widescreen and altered the cinematographer's craft and the director's intent. Not good!

I used to call myself a "widescreen fan," but what I have really always been is a "cinematography purist," or an "as the director intended" fan of filmed images. Virtually all "widescreen fans" of home video releases really are "cinematography purists" like me. Embrace yourself and your label, and embrace 4:3 if a film called for it!

Many 1.85:1 widescreen films are shot in 4:3, with the full intention by the director and cinematographer to matte them into 1.85:1 format for theatrical release. So they shoot scenes accordingly, not worrying too much about the very top and very bottom of the images in the camera eye, because they will be matted away. What is different here is that "The Sting" was meant to remain a 4:3 film in the theaters, and so was shot accordingly, with Surtees' full use of the 4:3 frame. If you matte it, you lose parts of the intended images, which detracts from the overall experience, and for some films this means ruin.

If you are a film fan, you want to see what the director intended you to see, don't you?
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