Monday, September 14, 2009

The Sting (1973)

TOP 100 FILMS: #88

After his partner is murdered by a local crime lord banker (Robert Shaw), up and coming con man (Robert Redford) must team up with veteran (Paul Newman) in order to pull off the perfect con, and get even.

Ah the music, the characters, the story, the twist(s), the setup, the dialogue, man oh man what is there to say about The Sting that hasn't been said a hundred times over, every bit as true every time. Redford and Newman have more on screen chemistry than most sweethearts, backed by a terrifically colorful cast of secondary actors. Not to mention they're going up against Robert Shaw, one of the most grizzled, and best villain actors, ever to bless the screen.

I never understand anyone who watches this movie and doesn't fall in love with it. It's like a good wine, it only gets better with age, and Hill executes Ward's script to perfection. Much like the recent Ocean's # series, with The Sting you get to spend a lot of time with the main cast, getting to know them, and eventually jump up and cheer for them. Their antics are funny, genius, and filled with tension that keeps a smile on your face, and a beat in your heart the whole way through.

Somehow Hill and Ward manage to take the dark, depressive climate of the 30's and almost make it into a time you'd want to visit. The colorful settings, setups, and quirks (now's the time everyone who knows the movie should tap their nose) takes the dark time and puts an enjoyable spin on those who tried to survive any way they could during it. On top of that you have the amazing music put together by Marvin Hamlisch, adapting the old school sounds to a solid filming score.

Really, you just can't go wrong with The Sting, it's perfect, and fun in every way you can imagine. Few films pull off that level of fun, without falling into to the normal traps, and that is what makes it classic.

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