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The Sting (1973)

In Chicago in September 1936, 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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Top Rated Movies #94 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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...
...
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John Heffernan ...
Eddie Niles
...
Jack Kehoe ...
Erie Kid
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Luther Coleman (as Robertearl Jones)
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Mottola (as James J. Sloyan)
...
Floyd - Bodyguard
Lee Paul ...
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 | caper | con man | long con | murder | See All (93) »

Taglines:

...all it takes is a little Confidence. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Clou  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Newman had been advised to avoid doing comedy films, because he didn't have the light touch needed to play comedy. Part of the reason Newman wanted to play Henry Gondorff was to prove that he could play comedy as well as drama. See more »

Goofs

After Synder smashes his gun through the phone booth and hits Hooker on the side of the face, Hooker's hat falls off to the right and Hooker traps the hat between his head and the inside wall of the booth. In the next shot, Hooker is wearing his hat as if it never fell off. See more »

Quotes

Doyle Lonnegan: [losing his temper with Henry] The name's Lonnegan! Doyle Lonnegan! You're gonna remember that name or you're gonna get yourself a new game! You follow?
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 Modern Family: Strangers in the Night (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Solace
(1909) (uncredited)
Written by Scott Joplin
Conducted and Adapted by Marvin Hamlisch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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