The Sting, 1973

In retaliation, swindlers join forces in an effort to con a ruthless racketeer out of his riches. Paying attention to body cues, a flick of the wrist, or the wink of an eye won’t help you know how they get away with their complicated cons. Paul Newman played Henry Gondorff, the experienced grifter. Robert Redford played Johnny Hooker, the young con artist looking for a team to help him pull off his ideal scam.

Unfortunately, there are no heroes in this crime comedy. It’s simply bad guys getting back at other bad guys. I think the reason it was so popular is because of the light-hearted touch lent to the movie by the ragtime music. Scott Joplin music became very popular because of this film. Many people began piano lessons during the 1970s using The Sting’s Scott Joplin sheet music.

Directed by George Roy Hill, who worked with the two stars in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, this film won 7 Academy Awards. Among them were: Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Best Writing, and Best Picture. Edith Head won her 8th Best Costume Design Oscar for the sharp 1930’s costumes in this film.

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