The Sting (1973)

Paul Newman and Robert Redford will forever be known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The two Hollywood icons did not win Best Picture for their gunslinger movie; however, the pair reunited in 1973 to give us The Sting, one of the most entertaining old movies I’ve ever seen. 

Set in Chicago right after The Great Depression and the start of World War II, Newman and Redford star as two hustlers who happen to be the best in the business. After losing a mutual friend to a thug who plans to run all the town’s bookie offices, the pair connect and prepare the centuries grandest heist. 

I had never watched The Sting until the other night and really knew nothing about the story, even after reading what it was about. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, the story, and it’s many characters. It reminded me a lot of modern Ocean’s Eleven stories since I have never seen the original. I liked how many were invested in the con, one that was pegged for a huge payout but came with an abundance of risk. 

My favourite part, which left me looking for answers, was the poker hand that Newman’s character Henry pulled off. Dealt into a winless situation at the card table, Henry was so slick that he could beat the con that he was suckered into it. It was brilliant and made me laugh. That entire sequence made the rest of the story better; it made me appreciate the characters and their experience even more. I was engaged for the entirety of the movie, yet certain moments like the poker game made me want more. 

Right before the big heist, the FBI shows up and threatens to throw a wrench into the entire operation, that is, unless they get someone on the inside working both sides of the job. I called the ending out loud while they were in the warehouse, discussing the raid options. The entire plot took a turn there, and everything from there was laid out for me to see. Even though it was easy to figure out, watching the finale go down as one of the best parts and well worth waiting for a fantastic buildup. 

I can say that I am disappointed in myself for waiting my entire life to see The Sting. I still haven’t seen all the best picture winners on the list, yet I am willing to bet this is one of the most cleverly thought out ones to snag the award. Like I mentioned in the opening, both leading men are known for much more famous roles yet deserve your undivided attention in this one. Just remember, if you blink, you just might miss something. 9/10

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