The Sting (1973) - dir. George Roy Hill

In every grifting movie the audience is privy to information that the characters are not: this is a grifting movie! We, as an audience, are alert - we’re looking for the sleight of hand, for the fake beard for something that doesn’t look right. We want to see the cons in action, not get conned ourselves. George Roy Hill (who won the Oscar for best director) does a great job of developing each con on screen.

Following Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) as he goes from accidentally conning the mob to escaping the law, blowing all his winnings on games of chance and girls… well it’s a hoot and a half. When he decides its time to pull the fabled “long-con” he needs an expert, and he finds one in Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman). The rest is, quite simply, impeccably amusing. Some stories are meant to be watched from afar and appreciated - and the Sting is one of them. A true classic.

8.5