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The Sting (1973)

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Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.

Director:

George Roy Hill

Writer:

David S. Ward
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Popularity
1,453 ( 367)
Top Rated Movies #99 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Henry Gondorff
Robert Redford ... Johnny Hooker
Robert Shaw ... Doyle Lonnegan
Charles Durning ... Lt. Wm. Snyder
Ray Walston ... J.J. Singleton
Eileen Brennan ... Billie
Harold Gould ... Kid Twist
John Heffernan John Heffernan ... Eddie Niles
Dana Elcar ... F.B.I. Agent Polk
Jack Kehoe ... Erie Kid
Dimitra Arliss ... Loretta
Robert Earl Jones ... Luther Coleman (as Robertearl Jones)
James Sloyan ... Mottola (as James J. Sloyan)
Charles Dierkop ... Floyd - Bodyguard
Lee Paul Lee Paul ... Bodyguard
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Storyline

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 headlessannie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sting See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$159,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the scene where the banker is ordering props for the betting parlor, the prop salesman's sentence "If you want a counter and bar..." is obviously dubbed over. His mouth is completely off. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Hooker: Can you get a mob together?
Henry Gondorff: After what happened to Luther, I don't think I can get more than two, three hundred guys.
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 I Love the '70s (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
And Don't Forget Scott Joplin!
21 February 2005 | by gelman@attglobal.netSee all my reviews

I agree 100 percent that this is a wonderful movie. I first saw it over 30 years ago, and it remains vivid in my mind while I can't remember zip about movies I saw last week which others have praised and I found wanting. I can't think of another film about double and triple crosses that deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with "The Sting" (which doesn't mean that some of the others haven't been good). In addition to all the things that others have praised, one of the most memorable features of this film is the use of a Scott Joplin rag, which both lends a distinctive period touch and adds a sense of fast-paced motion to the action. I'm not much for ranking films -- top five, top ten, top 250 -- but this is one of the best. If you haven't already seen it, drop everything and find the DVD. As pure entertainment, it can't be beat.


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