The Sting (1973) Review

Johnny Hooker is a small time grifter and unknowingly steals from big time crime boss Doyle Lonnegan when he pulls a standard street con. His partner Luther is killed and this sees him flee to find Henry Gondorff.


During the great depression in 1936 we see Johnny Hooker and his partner Luther Coleman getting $11k in a con, which they thought was a standard con they pull all the time but the issue was the victim had so much money due to working as a courier for crime boss Doyle Lonnegan. Hooker managed to blow all of his cut of the money in a single roulette spin and when a corrupt cop asks for part of this money it is all going to take a serious turn. Luther is then killed and Hooker must flee to Chicago in an attempt to save his own life. Searching out Harry Gondorff, a once great con man who is now hiding out from the FBI.

He is not overly up for helping out Hooker and reluctantly agrees to take on Lonnegan, recruiting a core team of con men in order to win the battle. The scam becomes very big and elaborate with many stages/layers, this is when the fun truly starts. All leading up to the overall sting which certainly had a lot of planning put in for it.

The Sting really is a true joy to watch from start to finish, it manages to be entertaining, with some great twists and turns as well as the performances. This film won Best Picture and therefore is fully part of my Best Picture Project, winning another six Oscars along with that and Robert Redford for his leading role was also nominated.

Robert Redford is utterly marvellous in this film and I loved nothing more than watching him as Hooker, having so much charm and charisma that you could very easily see yourself falling for any of his cons and even more so the big sting. I really do see him as an amazing presence on screen and such an outstanding actor. The chemistry he has with Paul Newman is second to none and he is another actor that is a joy to watch on screen. In this film he has such an interesting character and that really does make for great viewing. Robert Shaw plays a convincing bad guy who you really want to see utterly fail.

It is certainly one of those films where I am more than happy to have caught up with and left wondering why I didn’t watch it sooner. Certain aspects are easy to link to current life as well showing that some values and characters are still around now, really helping to clarify that films really can be timeless in that sense. A true gem of a film and it has a little bit of everything going for it, outstanding.

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