The Sting (1973)

I’m a huge fan of 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven, and for that matter, almost any expertly done heist/swindle film.  A lot of David Mamet films fall under that umbrella, and one day I’ll get to reviewing/rewatching them all.  However, since I’m on a short Paul Newman kick, well The Sting serves well as a nice transition from one run to the next.  Hell, it’s an excellent movie that could be watched any day of the year, and seeing it for the second time, I still wasn’t entirely sure how it was all going to play out.

George Roy Hill deservedly won a Best Director Oscar for this movie, and The Sting also picked up the Best Picture Oscar to boot.  Nowadays though, you sometimes have to justify a movie picking up that prestigious prize.  Looking at the other nominees in the 1973 class, the only other one I’ve seen was The Exorcist and while that was a great movie as well, for me it doesn’t touch the masterful expertise of The Sting.

The best way to describe it for semi-modern audiences would be Ocean’s Eleven mashed up with The Grifters, but I’m not confident that a lot of Internetters actually remember The Grifters.  Actually, it looks like I’m setting myself up for a grifting run of movies here with all the movies I’m ticking off out of my collection.  I might end up giving most of them 5’s as well, but the two that would rate the highest would be Ocean’s and this movie.

It’s a pleasure to watch Paul Newman and Robert Redford work together, and while the movie could probably stand on its own with different actors in their roles, they elevate the entire movie above just being a grifters movie.  Everything about the movie is excellent, but special note should go out to Marvin Hamlisch, who also won an Oscar for Best Original Score.  Hamlisch (who looks like an elderly Christopher Mintz-Plasse) absolutely nailed the period music for the film, injecting so much humour and life into tense proceedings.  Oh and Robert Shaw was at his menacing best too.  Just a fantastic movie all around.

5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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