The Sting

the-sting-posterAmerican crime comedy from 1973.
Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Director: George Roy Hill
Writer: David S. Ward
Bechdel test: Fail


Johnny Hooker and Luther Coleman are con artists during the depression and when their mark turns out to work for the mob, the organization gets a cruel revenge on them. Johnny gets help from a legendary con artist called Henry Gondorff to get back at the mob boss.


This is a fun and light movie with all the right twists and turns in the plot. The different cons have fun names like Spanish prisoner, the badger, Iraqi dinars and the glim-dropper. (Names not taken from the movie, but in the same style.)

I have seen “The sting” several times before, but it has been some time since I last saw it. I was a little worried that the storytelling would be dated and a bit slow, but it was fast paced enough for the failing attention span of a modern viewer.


The costumes, props and sets are important in this movie. They set a tone or a mood that together with a kind of colorful rendering of the pictures that make up the movie, makes it’s fast pace and anti heroes, fun. Regardless of some violence and people being conned, it becomes more of a distant fairy tale that allows the viewer to disregard negative consequences of the main characters actions.

Also, getting a glimpse into the world and knowledge of confidence artists, is tantalizing and appealed to my sense of adventure.

In the last few movies I have watched, something called establishing shots (I had to google that) has drawn my attention. In this movie, several of those shots showed the camera looking upwards, and followed a minor characters moving into the scene with the major characters. I have not come to a conclusion about what this could mean. More contemplations are needed.

The acting and story in “The sting” is great, and comes together well. All the actors fill their parts well, and I think it is an extra challenge to act a part that is acting in a confidence trick. Or put another way, to act a part that is an actor that is acting, and that being evident even if the role is good at acting, is impressive.

The story is not layered or give pause for much thought, but this kind of heist or sting story really doesn’t have to be. Not when it is well written, and this one is.


I like this movie, and it was well worth my time. No complaints.


I recommend this movie to anyone closing in on adulthood. (Maybe 15 or above.) It is fun and enjoyable the whole way through.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The sting” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

26 movies down. 339 to go.

If you want to get “The sting” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The wizard of Oz“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

2 thoughts on “The Sting

  1. Pingback: Aimless and on vacation | Dreamberry

  2. Pingback: To kill a mockingbird | Dreamberry

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