254 user 121 critic

The Sting (1973)

0:42 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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.



1,751 ( 129)
Top Rated Movies #88 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: M Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin
Amadeus (1984)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Allied P.O.W.s plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and lead the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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.

Director: David Lean
Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins
The Apartment (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale


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


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 All (94) »


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


Comedy | Crime | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Clou  »

Box Office


$5,500,000 (estimated)


$159,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David Maurer sued for plagiarism, claiming the screenplay was based too heavily on his 1940 book The Big Con, about real-life tricksters Fred and Charley Gondorff. Universal quickly settled out of court for $300,000, irking David S. Ward, who had used many nonfiction books as research material and hadn't really plagiarized any of them. (It didn't help that Universal had quoted excerpts from Maurer's book-properly attributed, of course-in the souvenir booklet they produced as part of the film's publicity materials.)

Another lawsuit followed when a company called Followay Productions claimed that since they'd bought exclusive adaptation rights to The Big Con back in 1952, any movie ripped off of that book was ripped off from them, too. (The case was thrown out because Followay failed to get the author to join it.) Paul Newman sued for a refund on California state income taxes that he paid on the money he earned on The Sting, saying he should have been charged the out-of-state rate, not the resident's rate. (He won.) And Newman and George Roy Hill later sued Universal for lost revenue from VHS sales on the film and Slap Shot (1977). How fitting that a movie about money should have inspired so much real-life bickering about it. See more »


There is a billboard for Ezra Brooks Liquor. Ezra Brooks was not born until 1958. See more »


Luther: How much did you lose?
Johnny Hooker: [winces] All of it.
Luther: In one damn night? What are you spraying money around like that for, you could've been nailed.
Johnny Hooker: I checked the place first. There were no dicks in there.
Luther: But you're a con man! And you blew it like a pimp!
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 »


Referenced in Kamarád do deste II - Príbeh z Brooklynu (1992) See more »


The Entertainer
(1902) (uncredited)
Written by Scott Joplin
Conducted and Adapted by Marvin Hamlisch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Moral Order Restored
15 March 2004 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

Johnny Hooker and Luther Coleman are `grifters' or confidence tricksters in 1930s Chicago. Unknown to them, however, one of their victims works for a vicious local gangster named Doyle Lonnegan, and when Lonnegan finds out what has happened he has Luther murdered. Hooker is not a violent man by nature and admits that he does not know much about killing, but nevertheless wishes to take revenge for his partner's death. He decides that the best way is to hurt Lonnegan's pride by relieving him of some of his wealth. He joins forces with another con man named Henry Gondorff, and together they come up with an elaborate plan, not only to cheat Lonnegan, but also to do it in such a way that he never realises that he has been cheated. The plot unfolds with great ingenuity; until the final denouement the audience are never quite sure which developments are for real and which are part of the elaborate scheme.

Crime thrillers set during this period are normally associated with the classic `film noir' style, with its dark, brooding, cynical atmosphere. In `The Sting', however, George Roy Hill deliberately sets out to create a very different mood. The style is almost the exact opposite of film noir. The acting is heavily stylised (as is the scenery), and the division of the film into sections with titles such as `The Hook' or `The Line' is reminiscent of the formal division of a stage play into acts and scenes. The film is not in black-and-white but in bright colour, and the mood, far from being heavy and brooding, is light and cheerful. Scott Joplin's music, although written slightly earlier than the period in which the film is set, fits this mood perfectly. The major actors all play their parts perfectly- Robert Shaw as the glowering, menacing Lonnegan, Robert Redford as the young, idealistic Hooker (insofar as a con-man can be said to be an idealist), and Paul Newman as the older, more experienced and laid-back Gondorff. There are also good contributions from Charles Durning as the corrupt policement Lieutenant Snyder and Robert Earl Jones as Luther.

Despite the cheerful mood, the film has serious undertones in keeping with its themes of revenge and murder. I am not usually a great admirer of what are known as `heist' or `caper' movies, as I feel that too often they glamourise crime and dishonesty. `The Sting', however, is different. Hooker and Gondorff live in a world where the moral order has broken down. The police are hopelessly corrupt- Snyder, the one representative we see of the forces of law and order, is on Lonnegan's payroll. There is no chance of Hooker getting justice for his friend's murder through the normal channels; the only way in which this can be achieved is to go outside the law. Where the police are crooked, only the criminals can execute justice. The emotional satisfaction we feel at the end of the film is because a sort of moral order has finally been restored and, moreover, because this has been done without anyone getting injured except Lonnegan's wallet. An excellent film, which well deserved its Academy Award. 9/10.

73 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Hooker could have given his cut to Luther's widow joannabaroncelli
To anyone who's seen this in theaters... Goranjake
If you weren't alive in 1973-74, you probably have no idea... kentor404
Question regarding the card game cheat nelking
Why doesn't Salino kill him? kennybania77
Am I the only person on Earth who doesn't like this film? kolnoaMograbi
Discuss The Sting (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: