The Sting is a 1973 movie which won the Best Picture Oscar and to date remains the sentimental favourite about two grifters (Robert Redford and Paul Newman) who team up to pull off the ultimate con on a mob boss ( Robert Shaw ). George Roy Hill directs it.
The Main Story
Johnny Hooker ( Robert Redford ) is a small-time grafter who unknowingly steals from Doyle Lonnegan ( Robert Shaw ), a well-known crime boss during a standard street con. Lonnegan then takes revenge which sees Hooker on the run and seeking help from his dead partner Luther’s contact Henry Gondoff ( Paul Newman ) a master con artist.
Hooker wants to use Gondorffs expertise to take revenge and con Lonnegan out of an enormous sum of money. The two devise a complicated scheme with high stakes in the horse racing field. To win Hooker, and Gondorff needs all their skills and a certain amount of confidence to take down the murderous crime boss.
The movie has many twists and turns, FBI agents, hitmen and the usual cat and mouse chase and fixed games that one would expect from a gambling crime movie. The crime boss gets double-crossed many times and doesn’t know who to trust.
In the end, Lonnegan gets fooled by Hooker and Gondorff, and they land up with his money. The film ends with Hooker refusing his share of the money, saying “I’d only blow it”, and he is seen walking away Gondorff.
The film received some excellent reviews from the critics and turned out to be a box-office hit in 1973 and 1974.
The box office took in more than US$160 million which was a huge amount of money in the 70s. In August 2018, it was the 20th highest-grossing film in the United States.