After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
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 <email@example.com>
Just prior to Elizabeth Taylor's presentation of the Best Picture Oscar for this film, the streaker Robert Opel darted across the stage as David Niven was introducing her. It was this incident (among others) that inspired singer Ray Stevens to write the song "The Streak" that went to the top of the US charts the month after the awards. Incidentally, Opel was found murdered in his San Francisco gallery in 1979. See more »
In the poker game, no one buys any chips. "This is a gentleman's game, we assume you are all good for your debts." But later, the conductor has a great deal of cash, to pay people off who say: "Cash me in."
This is when the last player besides Gondorff and Lonnegan is cashing out, and he claims to have broken even, implying the other Gentleman had lost, and their chips were on the table. The remaining cash the conductor has is the lost money from those other players for the excess remaining chips on the table besides those for Gondorff and Lonnegan's personal piles. See more »
Doyle, I KNOW I gave him four THREES. He had to make a SWITCH. We can't let him get away with that.
What was I supposed to do - call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?
See more »
The opening animated logo for Universal Pictures is in 1930s style, matching the movie's setting, instead of the 1970s version. See more »
This film deserved every Oscar thrown at it. It looks good, it's funny, it's extremely complex but doesn't dwell on the fact for a moment: if you can spot the twists, you haven't got time to sit back smugly as they pop up - everything rushes on. The acting's good as is the story, one carrying the other. I can't think of a movie where people so obviously had as much fun - maybe (Soderbergh's) Ocean's Eleven, or even Some Like It Hot? The soundtrack is brilliant too, contemporaneous Joplin rags evoking the time and its contradictions artlessly.
The bit that raises this film the one notch higher though is a short, central sequence, in which the music plays as high profile a part as any character or narrative aside. It's the night before The Sting and Redford is drawn to the drugstore girl who's trying to leave town. Perfectly framed by the bittersweetest of the blues/rags he asks her out for a drink - revealing his vulnerability for the first time in a movie where everybody's pretending to be someone else: 'It's 2 o'clock in the morning and I don't know nobody.' Despite all the caper and thrill of grifting all he wants is what we all want. It's a rich, compassionate heart to a virtuosic piece of film-making. 9.5/10
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