The lunch was vegan 3 bean and soyrizo chili & tortilla chips. The Movie was The Sting from 1973.
Unsung Heroes – The Sting
Best Picture 1973
Oh those loveable rogues! Not since Elliot Ness rounded up Al Capone – hey, wait a minute – how come there was only one Italian American character in the Sting? Are we to believe Chicago was run by the Irish? I thought the Irish were the crooked cops. Is this non-PC enough yet? The Sting beat out Viskningar och rop by Ingmar Bergman to take top honors. I am outraged on behalf of the Muppet Chef who might have said, “inge furdi gurti vishni singe hurde Svedish meatbole,” which means, “There’s something rotten in Denmark.” American Graffiti was in the running but it decided to spawn Happy Days instead.
The minute you walked in the joint,
I could see you were a man of distinction,
A real big spender,
Good looking, so refined.
Say, wouldn’t you like to know
What’s going on in my mind?
Cy Coleman / Dorothy Fields
Newman and Redford were the cat’s pajamas in 73 and Eileen Brennan was channeling the sultry Tallulah Bankhead to make a period piece that was nothing like the period, but who cares – it was fun and we all sported large lapels and Fedoras for a few months after the Sting was released.
Dimitra Arliss, of Greek parentage, played the only person with an Italian last name and her dark character was notably threatening in such a lighthearted film, but a waitress’s lot is not a happy one..
On The Good Ship Lollipop.
It’s a sweet trip to a candy shop
Where bon-bons play
On the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay.
Richard A. Whiting, Sidney Clare
The least they could have done was have Shirley Temple singing on the radio as the contract killer prepared to shoot Robert Redford.
Overall it was nice to see it once again and a bit of fun still best pictah? Go figure. Out of 10 maybe 6.
I love a con movie. I’ve been fairly obsessed with con-artists for years. Going into this movie, I didn’t realize that it was about a con. With the name, I thought it was a cop drama or something. It was slightly confusing to think about it being set in the Depression, but I was willing to go along with it. As soon as I realized what the scope of the film was I got much more excited about watching it!
Redford as the young, handsome upstart grifter, and Newman as the old, washed up, handsome former grifter works really well.
The overarching conceit of the film, of having to essentially avenge the death of the older grifter that Redford’s character was a partner to, works pretty well, too. There are some interesting moments that call into question the value of revenge, and if it’s good for anything. The story seemed to hinge more on the idea that the mob boss responsible for Redford’s former partner’s death had some kind of punishment coming, and the grifters who pulled this scam on him were the only ones who could have. The idea of “living well as the best revenge” kept playing through my head, and I suppose that grifting a killer is living well, if you’re a grifter. They continued to live their best lives and make a score more to remember their friend, punish his killer and teach him a lesson, as opposed to doing so to get rich. When put into context of the Great Depression, that was a pretty interesting way to frame it.
Sound in this movie is really interesting. From the song (played over and over again in different ways), to the opening scene and the footsteps that seem to echo and draw the viewer in, to the sound of water when we meet Henry (Paul Newman).
The costumes were pretty great. Menswear in the 1930s done well. Fullard ties and patterned shirts – always looks legit. Indeed it inspired some sartorial choices of my own for the following week.
There were some really striking shots (especially dealing with the use of reflections) that made this a pretty fantastic thing to watch. It wasn’t overly artsy, but there was enough good film making to count, if that makes sense.
This movie felt quickly paced but not rushed. It didn’t seem just over 2 hours. I was entertained and enjoyed myself. A bit of film-making seemed to creep into this as well.
Watching this movie resulted in a rather interesting and hard to describe discussion about the passage of time and of perception that I won’t attempt to get into here for all of our sakes. That said, this film succeeded on many levels, including that often difficult to describe level of making you have a great conversation afterward.
Was this film a 10? No, but it was good. Really good, actually. I’d probably watch this again and be very happy about it. Rating: 8.5