Sting, The (1973)

The Sting (1973), directed by George Roy Hill.

The director and two stars return from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). A smash hit and well-liked by critics; were they compensating for snubbing the earlier film? The second film won seven Academy Awards.

It's a fun movie, but in some ways hard to evaluate all these years later. Relying on a deceptions-within-deceptions plot, you can enjoy it the first time only once (obviously). You also have to recapture the escapist mood of the early 1970s (when people really needed to escape): that decade's fondness for the Great Depression and general appetite for everything retro, a return to simpler times and pleasures.

Its good points:

The point of the whole con is to sting Doyle ("The Big Mick") Lonnegan, without him realizing it had been done. You know, that wouldn't have worked. Lt Snyder (Joliet PD) would not have gotten his reward from "the FBI". Looking up the agents, what would he have found? Better tell Lonnegan's people.

Robert Surtees cinematography.

Available on Blu-ray.