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The Sting: Movie Review

Phelicity Robinson, Head Editor

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The Sting is a movie that was created in 1973, directed by George Roy Hill.  This movie follows the story of two con-artist Henry Gondorf and John Hooker. These two are put for revenge on Doyle Lonnegan. Doyle murdered their friend Luther Colemen over a deal gone wrong. Gondorf and Hooker device a plan: The Sting, to take Doyle down.

The main character is a ruthless, vain, comedic New York con-man named Doyle Lonnegan, played by Robert Shaw in the broad manner in which the film was conceived by David S. Ward, who wrote the screenplay, and brought to life by Mr. Hill.

The only woman with a large role in the film is Eileen Brennan. She plays a older woman with a heart of gold and helps pull off the final con. “The Sting” is not the kind of film that takes its women very seriously. Even with the few who make an appearance, they are either a prostitute of some sort or an airhead/criminal.

For the time and era this movie was created in, it was considered a masterpiece. The transitions are adorable and simplistic. From folding pages to the separate act pictures, you are sure to stay close to the screen while watching. A hilarious and witty script from David S. Ward combines effortlessly with Hill’s great direction, which uses technical devices – such as chapter headings – to make the plot easier to separate.

The plan is as audacious as it is complex: in short, it involves creating a multiple fake areas, with fake horse-racing results, and persuading Doyle to bet big. The movie includes multiple twist and turns that keep you intrigued from the very beginning. If you do not pay close attention it is easy to get lost.

In recreating the period, cinematographer Robert Surtees filmed in brownish tones. This gave the film a bit of a rustic tone, Art director Henry Bumstead and set decorator James Payne outdid themselves, along with Edith Head’s great costuming. All of these people working together really created the vibe of the 30’s, even if the movie itself was filmed in the 70’s.

The Sting became one of the biggest hits of the early 70’s; earning 68.5 million dollars during its first run. The film also earned seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Adapted Score for Marvin Hamlisch’s setting of Scott Joplin’s music.

All in all The Sting is a good quality film. Other than the cursing and adult themes, I say it is a movie that can be enjoyed by families with older children. With as many twist and turns this movie has, it will be very enjoyable to watch others react if you’ve seen it a time before.

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The Sting: Movie Review