The Sting

After I finished work, I stopped for a hamburger, seeing the game between the Spurs and the Rockets on the television they had there.  Back at home, I watched the Blu-ray disc of “The Sting,” a movie from my childhood.  Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and George Roy Hill reunited four years after “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” to make this film.  Redford is Johnny Hooker, the young man who cons someone out of thousands of dollars at the beginning of the story, leading to the death of his partner and then the plan with Henry Gondorff.  I thought Johnny was foolish to not leave town with the money immediately, because he should have sensed some kind of danger behind all that cash.  It was also incredibly dumb to bet three thousand dollars on one spin of the roulette wheel, apparently not suspecting that someone was controlling it.  Robert Shaw had one of his best parts in this picture, as I’ll always remember him for “From Russia, With Love,” “Jaws,” and “The Sting.”  His part was originally supposed to go to Richard Boone.  Harold Gould was also great, although when he did the Western Union office deception, I don’t know why he would use the intercom at all.  Seeing the manhole cover bit again, it seemed obvious where Johnny went, although when I first saw the movie, it was amusing.  Everything is leading to the ending, which was funny, although the idea about the mistake of the horse finishing second was hard to believe.  I kept thinking about what would happen when Lonnegan realized he had been conned.  If he was angry at the smaller sums of money he lost earlier, then he would have been ready to rip apart the whole world to get back at these two clowns.  This story is supposed to take place in 1936, so the Scott Joplin music is out of period, but I did like the artwork that was rather like Norman Rockwell, as well as the use of the old-fashioned iris.  The first part of the movie did not look so impressive on Blu-ray, but some of the scenes looked sharp and colorful.  This movie could have gone deeper into emotion, although a clever script and two huge movie stars make it worth watching.  The music added a great deal to the enjoyable quality of the movie.  Marvin Hamlisch was a big name in 1973.  I have good memories of 1973.  It’s incredible to see such a young Robert Redford.  He actually received a Best Actor Oscar nomination, while the movie won the Best Picture Oscar.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 4, “Gaslight” was released in 1944.  In 1964, “Another World” had its premiere on NBC.  In 1984, the John Hughes film “Sixteen Candles,” starring Molly Ringwald, was released.

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