4.4 15
Director: George Roy Hill

Cast: George Roy Hill, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw


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Four years after setting box offices ablaze in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill re-teamed with similar success for The Sting. Redford plays Depression-era confidence trickster Johnny Hooker, whose friend and mentor Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) is murdered by racketeer/gambler DoyleSee more details below


Four years after setting box offices ablaze in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill re-teamed with similar success for The Sting. Redford plays Depression-era confidence trickster Johnny Hooker, whose friend and mentor Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) is murdered by racketeer/gambler Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Hoping to avenge Luther's death, Johnny begins planning a "sting" -- an elaborate scam -- to destroy Lonnegan. He enlists the aid of "the greatest con artist of them all," Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), who pulls himself out of a drunken stupor and rises to the occasion. Hooker and Gondorff gather together an impressive array of con men, all of whom despise Lonnegan and wish to settle accounts on behalf of Luther. The twists and surprises that follow are too complex to relate in detail -- suffice to say that you can't cheat an honest man, and that you shouldn't accept everything at face value. The Sting became one of the biggest hits of the early '70s; grossing 68.5 million dollars during its first run, the film also picked up seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Adapted Score for Marvin Hamlisch's unforgettable setting of Scott Joplin's ragtime music.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Reunited several years after being paired in 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman and Robert Redford proved with this delightful 1973 caper film that their onscreen chemistry was, in cinematic terms, historic. The Sting more than matched the earlier film's box-office success, and it won a total of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay. David S. Ward's complicated but skillfully developed script sets the action during the depths of the Depression in Chicago, where small-time grifter Johnny Hooker (Redford) enlists the aid of legendary con man Henry Gondorff (Newman) to mount an elaborate "sting," targeting ruthless New York gangster Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), who was responsible for the murder of Johnny's mentor, Luther Coleman (James Earl Jones). It's a potentially dangerous undertaking that Henry initially disdains. But the lure of the "big con" is irresistible, and ultimately the two men team up to stage an operation so intricate it will require the services of more than a dozen confederates -- all of whom anticipate a big payoff. Director George Roy Hill (The World According to Garp), never the most stylish of filmmakers, won his well-deserved Oscar for coordinating the creative efforts of a sublimely talented group working both in front of and behind the cameras. The film is a perfect example of this most collaborative art form. The production design brilliantly re-creates the 1930s in sets, costumes, and props; the lighting and photography is crisp; the editing maintains a crackling pace; and even the ragtime music of Scott Joplin (arranged by Marvin Hamlisch), though written decades before the time frame of the movie, seems perfectly appropriate for the mood and setting. Performances are faultless, with stars Newman and Redford heading but not dominating a superb cast, each member of which represents the perfect choice for his or her part. It's hard to imagine anybody other than Robert Shaw as the vicious Irish mobster, and the same goes for Harold Gould's dapper con man, Charles Durning's corrupt cop, Eileen Brennan's hard-boiled hooker, or Ray Walston's smooth-talking sharpster. Simply put, there isn't a single discordant note in this symphony of cinematic artisanship.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Reuniting the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) dream team of Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and director George Roy Hill, The Sting (1973) showed that box-office lightning could strike twice, especially with a cleverly and lavishly produced comedy. Amid the meticulously recreated 1930s setting, with costumes designed by grande dame Edith Head and shiny vintage cars, The Sting's elaborate con game is driven along by properly jaunty Scott Joplin ragtime music, re-orchestrated by Marvin Hamlisch, further adding to the period flavor. Even as film-school graduate David S. Ward's script dealt with a corrupt world, the charming Redford/Newman chemistry and the period appeal lent the potential darkness a glossily entertaining surface. A few critics may have complained that the box-office formula was too obvious, but nobody could deny that Universal's money had resulted in a well-executed film. Produced by actor Tony Bill and young newcomers Michael Phillips and Julia Phillips, The Sting appealed to audiences young and old, turning it into one of the biggest hits of the 1970s. Nominated for ten Oscars, The Sting won seven, including Director, Screenplay, Art Direction, Adapted Score, and Costumes, while Julia Phillips became the first woman to win a Best Picture prize.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
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Special Features

The Art of The Sting; 3-part documentary on the creation of the film featuring interviews with Robert Redford, Paul Newman ; 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics - An in-depth look at the intricate process of preserving the studio's film legacy; 100 Years of Universal: The '70s - A look at Universal's iconic movies and filmmakers during this dynamic decade; ; 100 Years of Universal: The Lot - A behind-the-scenes look at the movie magic created on the famous Universal Studios lot; ; Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Newman Henry Gondorff/Mr. Shaw
Robert Redford Johnny Hooker/Kelly
Robert Shaw Doyle Lonnegan
Charles Durning Lt. William Snyder
Ray Walston Singleton
Eileen Brennan Billie
Robert Earl Jones Luther Coleman
Charles Dierkop Floyd
Lee Paul Bodyguard
Sally Kirkland Crystal
Avon Long Benny Garfield
Arch Johnson Combs
Ed Bakey Granger
Brad Sullivan Cole
John Quade Riley
Larry D. Mann Train Conductor
Leonard Barr Burlesque Comedian
Paulene Myers Alva Coleman
Joe Tornatore Black-Gloved Gunman
Jack Collins Duke Boudreau
Tom Spratley Curly Jackson
Kenneth O'Brien Greer
Ken Sansom Western Union Executive
William Benedict Roulette Dealer
James J. Sloyan Mottola
Harold Gould Kid Twist
John Heffernan Niles
Dana Elcar FBI Agent
Jack Kehoe Erie Kid
Dimitra Arliss Loretta Salino
Scott Joplin Piano Rags

Technical Credits
George Roy Hill Director
Tony Bill Producer
Henry Bumstead Art Director
Robert L. Crawford Producer
Ray Gosnell Asst. Director
Marvin Hamlisch Score Composer,Screenwriter
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
James W. Payne Set Decoration/Design
Julia Phillips Producer
Michael Phillips Producer
Ronald Pierce Sound/Sound Designer
William H. Reynolds Editor
Robert Surtees Cinematographer
David S. Ward Screenwriter
Bob Warner Special Effects
Ernest B. Wehmeyer Production Manager
Albert J. Whitlock Special Effects
Richard D. Zanuck Producer

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