Thanks to Vincent for requesting this movie. There’s nothing I love more than having ragtime stuck in my head for two days straight.
Quick recap: After a close friend is murdered by a mobster, a couple of guys decide that the only course of action is to pull off a ridiculously complicated scheme.
Fun (?) fact: The Sting is based off the real exploits of brothers Charley and Fred Gondorf, who ran a scheme called ‘the wire’ in 1914. Their ‘mark’ testified against them and the brothers spent several years in prison. Neither learned a lesson and continued scheming people for several years to come.
My thoughts: I’m not usually a ‘blonde hair, blue eyes hunky guy’ sort of girl, but there is just something about Robert Redford that I absolutely adore. I haven’t seen many of his movies but after his performance in All the President’s Men, I was game for whatever. I didn’t love him as much in this role but he was still wonderful. Paul Newman was excellent as well, and I would go so far as to say I enjoyed his role much more, but in the end it all goes back to Robert Redford.
As for the actual story, I think I viewed this movie too late at night because I was thoroughly confused most of the time. Or maybe ‘the sting’ was to con the viewer all along. Maybe I was the mark??? Nah, it was most likely exhaustion. Anyway, as much as it annoyed me to not know what was going on most of the time, I also liked how everything came together at the very end. It was much easier to focus on the big picture rather than trying to catch each detail of the con. I think at some point I also realized that I would be a perfect mark if someone decided to con me. It’s fine to not focus on little things sometimes, but not when you are about to be swindled out of thousands of dollars.
What I loved most about The Sting was the style of the movie. The scene is early 1930’s Chicago and it looks like it for the most part, save for the ragtime music which was popular in the early 1900s. I really loved the segue to different scenes, using a card to announce what was about to happen. It was like I was being let in on the con, although I still had no clue how everything would go down.
I’m not sure I would consider Johnny Hooker (Redford) and Henry Gondorff (Newman) bad guys. They were certainly on a shadier side of the law, but compared to Doyle Lonnegan, the mobster, they were essentially harmless. The only violence on Hooker’s side was killing that one woman, but that was only because she was about to murder him. I’m curious if cons like this still go on because it seems like a much more clean way of revenge, although not very efficient. My answer is most likely no, because of Snopes. com, which ruins all the fun.
Final review: 4/5
Up next: Two Lane Blacktop. There is still time to suggest a movie you want to see reviewed! Just comment on this post or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.