Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – The Sting (1973)

The sting

Starring Robert Redford, Paul Newman & Robert Shaw

Rating 5/10

Long and silent. I’m afraid that is how it felt watching this film. I love Redford and Newman but the long drawn out ‘sting’ was to long and too drawn out for me. Though it had moments of tension, there was too many scenes of surrepticious looks and meetings, turning of the screws. I could almost hear the rust fluttering to the floor, in all the silence. Where was the music? It would have helped with the progression of the story. I just lost interest in the end.

Now on to the storyline. Johnny ‘Kelly’ Hooker  (Redford) is a small time conman who robs a courier of $11000. What he doesn’t know is the courier was working for gangster, Doyle Lonnegan (Shaw).  When his buddy, Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) is killed by Lonnegan’s men, Shaw seeks out fellow crook Henry ‘Shaw’ Gondorff (Newman) to help him plot his revenge.

They devise a sting to humiliate and rob the gangster blind. First it’s a card game on a train, then it centres around horse racing and the law. This plan involves many players working together without giving the whole thing away. Will they succeed in punishing Lonnegan or will the feds catch up with them?

Though slow, this is a film that is easy to watch. The gangster theme alone draws you in but once you’re there you have to sit and be slowly wheeled through the rest of the story. Redford and Newman work fairly well together though they didn’t have earth shattering chemistry. The story is fine, though a little predictable at the end. It is a light hearted gangster film that pales in comparison to The Godfather films that straddle it!

The Sting Trivia:

  • Budget – $5.5 million
  • Robert Shaw had a genuine limp after tearing ligaments in his knee one week before filming began. He had to wear a brace the whole time.
  • Chicago’s mayor only let the crew film for three days on his streets with the proviso they depict Chicago in a positive light.
  • The diner used in this film was also used in Back to the Future. Talk about recycling.
  • The story is based on brothers, Charley and Fred Gondorf who ran cons around 1914
  • The Best Picture Oscar announcement for this pic was disturbed by infamous streaker, Robert Opel, who was later murdered in 1979. I don’t think the two incidents were connected.

Back we go to Al Pacino and the Corleone family with The Godfather Part II. Now that’s a mob / gangster film. Don’t miss it!


2 comments on “Best Picture – The Sting (1973)

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