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The Sting (1973)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  26 December 1973 (UK)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 136,251 users  
Reviews: 227 user | 112 critic

In 1930s Chicago, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

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Title: The Sting (1973)

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Top 250 #88 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
John Heffernan ...
Eddie Niles
...
Jack Kehoe ...
Erie Kid
Dimitra Arliss ...
Loretta
Robert Earl Jones ...
Luther Coleman (as Robertearl Jones)
...
Mottola (as James J. Sloyan)
Charles Dierkop ...
Floyd - Bodyguard
...
Bodyguard
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Storyline

When a mutual friend is killed by a mob boss, two con men, one experienced and one young try to get even by pulling off the big con on the mob boss. The story unfolds with several twists and last minute alterations. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

con | con man | long con | murder | courier | See more »

Taglines:

Recapture "the STING Experience". REMEMBER HOW GOOD THE FEEL WAS THE FIRST TIME (re-release) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El golpe  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$159,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The meaning and relevance of a "Sting" is that it can be defined as a confidence trick, a scam, confidence game or a con. The use of the word sting to mean this is a metaphor based on the hurt or pain of a bee sting doubling for that of being a victim of a swindle. See more »

Goofs

The poker scene takes place aboard the 20th Century Limited, a luxury train that ran between New York and Chicago from 1902 to 1967. Arrival times in Chicago varied over the years, but they usually were between about 7 and 9 a.m. The train would not be arriving in Chicago in what appears to be the middle of the night, as happens in "The Sting." See more »

Quotes

Johnny Hooker: Listen, Gondorff! Am I gonna learn the big con or not?
Henry Gondorff: What's your hurry?
Johnny Hooker: I want to play for Lonnegan.
Henry Gondorff: You know anything about the guy?
Johnny Hooker: Yeah! He croaked Luther! Anything else I gotta know?
Johnny Hooker: [after he calms down] All right. He runs a numbers racket on the south side. He owns a packing house. A few banks.
Henry Gondorff: Yeah, and half the politicians in New York and Chicago. Not a fix in this world is gonna cool him out if he blows on you.
Johnny Hooker: I'll get him anyway.
Henry Gondorff: Why?
Johnny Hooker: 'Cause I don't know enough about killin' to kill...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening animated logo for Universal Pictures is in 1930s style, matching the movie's setting, instead of the 1970s version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Blythe Danner/Rickie Lee Jones (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Pineapple Rag / Gladiolus Rag
(uncredited)
Written by Scott Joplin (1907)
Performed by and Adapted by Marvin Hamlisch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Lightweight, Clever Throwback to the Big Cons of the 1930's.
24 January 2000 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

At first sight, THE STING appears to be nothing more than a television movie. It is entirely plot-driven with no real stand out characters or personalities. What makes the film work is excellent production design and a delightfully clever plot filled with many surprises. The movie is feather-weight emotionally, but the depth of the "con" and the way it is fashioned by screenwriter David Ward leaves you with a pleasant experience.

This is more Redford's film than Newman's, who reunite with George Roy Hill, director of BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. The legendary actors were more flesh and blood in that film, but here, they are merely players who carry the story along. With lesser actors, THE STING may have been a forgettable piece of work. Redford does all of the dirty work after Newman's initial "hook", but the omniscient presence of Newman, as big-time grifter "Henry Gondorff" exists throughout. A mysterious gloved character, a crooked cop, the FBI, and a seemingly bigger con-man "Doyle Lonnegan" (played by the late, great Robert Shaw) are some of the players who are involved in some events that seem to be manipulated by an unseen force. Is Newman as good as he claims in trying to clean out Shaw? We'll see.

The film is shot simply by Hill. No tricky angles or contrived camera movements are used. The action takes place simply in front of us. The production design by Henry Bumstead and James Payne recreates old-time Chicago through the use of built sets, matte paintings of a smaller sky-line, and some location shots. It gives the film an almost artificial look which is fitting considering it is a direct homage to the 1930's and the gangster pictures that so dominated that decade. The story is even furthered by title pages describing "the set-up, the hook, and the sting". They are turned like pages in a book, adding a drop of elegance to a crooked world. An iris is even employed in some scenes.

THE STING is definitely lightweight entertainment. It does not provoke much thought or insight into what is happening on screen. Fun is the word for this amusing little film that depicts a masterful plan for a big steal which would be impossible to pull off today. Look out for Ray Walston in a hilarious role announcing horse races and their results as they are "happening" just after receiving word of the "real" race results from a back room in the betting house. These are good con-men.

RATING: ***


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Recent Posts
Since Lonnegan knew that he was being tipped on a race already run... Timothy_M_Klein
Am I the only person on Earth who doesn't like this film? nrho-243-714395
Was Hooker in on his own arrest? places4spam
A Twist of a Twist No One Seems to Notice... jga-505-721860
Remake it with George and Brad kstrtroi
Why the big deal about placing a bet? flare_for_roach
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