The Sting (1973) *****

The Sting is among the best, if not the best, con-artists’ films ever made. It was directed by George Roy Hill to a screenplay written by David S. Ward. The story itself, though fictional, was inspired by David Maurer’s book The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man. In the book, which details stories of various grifters, The Sting is based on the real-life cons carried out by the Gondorff brothers, Fred and Charley.
Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Robert Shaw, if to mention but a few of the many excellent cast members, The Sting has the sort of quality that once it hooks you in, right at the start, it does not let go. Incidentally, director Hill worked with Newman and Redford before on the films Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
On top of a well-composed plot, the film’s style is yet another quality that sets it apart. It uses a chapter by chapter structure, separating each part of the story by an old-fashioned title card. The musical score uses ragtime, with its title tune, "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin, becoming instantly a hit.
Much can be said about this film, yet maybe the most significant element is that it stands very well the test of time. Watching it today still resonates with audiences young and old.
At the time of its release, The Sting collected many Oscar nominations (during the 46th Academy Awards ceremony,) winning seven golden statuettes. It was a 1973-4 blockbuster, and in 2005 selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
If you have never seen it, or it had been a while since you did, check it out. The Sting is available for streaming on Netflix.