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.
Johnny Hooker, a small time grifter, unknowingly steals from Doyle Lonnegan, a big time crime boss, when he pulls a standard street con. Lonnegan demands satisfaction for the insult. After his partner, Luther, is killed, Hooker flees, and seeks the help of Henry Gondorff, one of Luther's contacts, who is a master of the long con. Hooker wants to use Gondorff's expertise to take Lonnegan for an enormous sum of money to even the score, since he admits he "doesn't know enough about killing to kill him." They devise a complicated scheme and amass a talented group of other con artists who want their share of the reparations. The stakes are high in this game, and our heroes must not only deal with Lonnegan's murderous tendencies, but also other side players who want a piece of the action. To win, Hooker and Gondorff will need all their skills...and a fair amount of confidence. Written by
As he researched old Hollywood gangster films of the 1930s for inspiration, George Roy Hill noticed that most of them didn't use a lot of extras in the scenes. "For instance," said Hill as quoted in Andrew Horton's 1984 book The Films of George Roy Hill, "...no extras would be used in street scenes in those films: Jimmy Cagney would be shot down and die in an empty street. So I deliberately avoided using extras." See more »
During the scene in the alley where Hooker, Luther and Erie Kid are playing a con on Mottola, Hooker is "fighting" with Erie Kid while Mottola watches. Mottola's hat falls off his head to the ground, but in the next shot, his hat is back on his head. See more »
Great comedy-crime caper with giants Newman and Redford rekindling their "Butch & Sundance" flame to take down crime lord Robert Shaw (his finest role). Marvin Hamlisch beautifully recreates Scott Joplin's great music, while director George Roy Hill and screenwriter David S. Ward keep the film moving with snappy dialogue, wonderful art direction and editing and an excellent supporting cast. Followed by a sequel ten years later with Jackie Gleason.
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