The Sting

1973

The Sting

Critics Consensus

Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill prove that charm, humor, and a few slick twists can add up to a great film.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 57

95%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 61,617
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The Sting Photos

Movie Info

Four years after setting box offices ablaze in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill re-teamed with similar success for The Sting. Redford plays Depression-era confidence trickster Johnny Hooker, whose friend and mentor Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) is murdered by racketeer/gambler Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Hoping to avenge Luther's death, Johnny begins planning a "sting" -- an elaborate scam -- to destroy Lonnegan. He enlists the aid of "the greatest con artist of them all," Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), who pulls himself out of a drunken stupor and rises to the occasion. Hooker and Gondorff gather together an impressive array of con men, all of whom despise Lonnegan and wish to settle accounts on behalf of Luther. The twists and surprises that follow are too complex to relate in detail -- suffice to say that you can't cheat an honest man, and that you shouldn't accept everything at face value. The Sting became one of the biggest hits of the early '70s; grossing 68.5 million dollars during its first run, the film also picked up seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Adapted Score for Marvin Hamlisch's unforgettable setting of Scott Joplin's ragtime music. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Paul Newman
as Henry Gondorff
Robert Redford
as Johnny Hooker
Robert Shaw
as Doyle Lonnegan
Charles Durning
as Lt. William Snyder
Ray Walston
as J.J. Singleton
Harold Gould
as Kid Twist
John Hefferman
as Eddie Niles
Dana Elcar
as FBI Agent Polk
Jack Kehoe
as Erie Kid
Robert Earl Jones
as Luther Coleman
Paulene Myers
as Alva Coleman
William 'Billy' Benedict
as Roulette Dealer
Avon Long
as Benny Garfield
Lee Paul
as Bodyguard
Ed Bakey
as Granger
Ken Sansom
as Western Union Executive
Larry D. Mann
as Train Conductor
Leonard Barr
as Burlesque Comedian
Joe Tornatore
as Black-Gloved Gunman
Jack Collins
as Duke Boudreau
Tom Spratley
as Curly Jackson
Ken Sanson
as Western Union Executive
Ta-Tanisha
as Louise Coleman
Scott Joplin
as Piano Rags
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News & Interviews for The Sting

Critic Reviews for The Sting

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (8)

  • As for Newman and Redford, they have developed a form of instant communication. Words are not as important as they way they look at each other. Call it as snow job or call it acting, it is very pleasing to watch.

    Feb 27, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Newman and Redford pass a few facial expressions between them and try to cool each other out. If there ever was much of a script, it can be said to have gone to waste.

    Oct 1, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Extremely handsome production values and a great supporting cast round out the virtues.

    Feb 19, 2008 | Full Review…

    A.D. Murphy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Top-notch entertainment.

    Dec 13, 2006 | Full Review…
  • The film ends up relying on different chapter headings to explain what's going on, but it's all very professional, with fine attention to period detail.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Chris Petit

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The film is so good-natured, so obviously aware of everything it's up to, even its own picturesque frauds, that I opt to go along with it.

    May 9, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Sting

  • Mar 13, 2019
    All con movies hide an essential secret: that the audiences are the real marks, the targets of the con. George Roy Hill's popular outing is no different, putting "easy smiles" Newman and Redford right out in front to, uhh, easy smile, and distract where the con is going, and this they do with finesse. It's a fun movie, but don't look at it too hard. The secondary cast and the set design and the music all lend themselves well to the spirit of the thing, a looking back on simpler times with fondness.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2016
    George Roy Hill does his best to sell a pretty bleak story as fun and light-hearted . . . he certainly succeeds and I like how weird the final result is.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 11, 2014
    The Sting is great cinema. Redford and Newman show how well they play off each other in so many films.The story is charming and entertaining.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2012
    Paul Newman and Robert Redford shine together in this brilliant and hugely amusing caper film that offers us, among many notable qualities, a marvelous production design and an ingenious (and unpredictable) plot that plays like a refined sleight-of-hand trick.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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