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Wick's Review

Created Jul 16, 2016 12:39AM PST • Edited Dec 07, 2019 08:25AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Perfection: The opening music sets a movielover’s heart aflutter and The Sting just gets better from there. A Scott Joplin rag – brilliantly slowed down by Marvin Hamlisch – leads to Robert Redford and Paul Newman, reunited a mere four years after they first got together in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

    Every scene is perfect. To pick one, Redford’s Johnny Hooker gets blocked by a kingpin’s thuggish guard, who fills an entire doorway. George Roy Hill’s camera catches the mook’s back, with Redford’s eyes visible above his shoulders, pausing as those big moviestar eyes look upwards at the thug’s ugly mug.

    Immense charm, lilting music, dashing style and loads of suspense mark The Sting as an all-time-great.

  3. Perfect 5.0

    The Sting burnished Paul Newman & Robert Redford’s position as Hollywood’s most successful buddies, given that it followed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid by just four years. These were two monster movies. The first elevated Newman into a new strata of superstardom and turned Redford into an instant superstar right alongside him. The Sting was even more successful than Butch Cassidy, winning seven (7!) Oscars. Yet the Academy chose not to honor the superstars, notwithstanding Redford’s Best Actor nom. Okay then. Just remember, no Newman & Redford, no Sting. Nobody did it better.

    Robert Redford’s crazy con is small time and rakish. Paul Newman’s older con is big time and rakish.

    • Robert Shaw simmers as the criminal kingpin they target.
    • Charles Durning fulminates as a police detective on the take.
    • Ray Walston articulates as a conman voiceover artist.
    • Eileen Brennan was sexy and worldweary at once.
    • Harold Gould looks marvelous as a front-man conman.
    • Charles Dierkop looks the part as the kingpin’s bodyguard.
    • Sally Kirkland as “Hooker’s hooker”: She got to canoodle with Redford and get paid to do it.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    George Roy Hill peaked with The Sting, working from David S. Ward’s deft script. Funny, exceptionally clever and deftly drawn, their film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design (Edith Head!), Best Film Editing & Best Music (Marvin Hamlisch).

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.1
  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Brutal 2.6
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.0
  18. Glib 1.5
  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.5
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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