Directed by George Roy Hill, 1973′s The Sting re-teamed Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who had previously starred together in 1969′s classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It would go on to win seven Oscars (and three more nominations), including Best Picture and Best Director.
The Sting is a tale of the con, and the con artists at the crux of it are Redford and Newman. Redford plays Johnny Hooker, a small-time grifter who is good at taking people for their money but bad at holding onto it. When he and his mentor Luther (Robert Earl Jones) grift the wrong person, Johnny finds himself on the bad side of mob boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Luther is killed, and Hooker is on the run, seeking out the one man who may be able to get him some measure of revenge against Lonnegan: Henry Gondorff (Newman), master of the big con, and friend of Luther’s. Together the two start scheming on how to take Lonnegan for all he has. Once Hooker and Gondorff meet, the film breaks into several acts, each named after part of the con, and their machinations take up the whole of the film. I’ll not spoil it here. Continue reading