It’s time for another edition of one of my favorite segments: “From TheScarletSp1der’s shelf to yours…”
Sometimes, instead of choosing to go out to watch a movie (and trust me, January is NOT the month to be rushing to theaters as the beginning of the year is traditionally the worst time of year for new releases), you may feel like watching one at home. Only…which one do you watch?
Every so often I like to make movie recommendations for you from the movies that I have in my own personal stash through a segment that I love and love to call “From TheScarletSp1der’s shelf to yours…”
Do you like to collect movies? If you do, you know that the value of a worthy movie collection lies not in quantity, but in quality. As I’ve said before, “You may have 500 movies, but if 375 of them are horrible….then your neighbor with 75 classics has a better collection! In my opinion.” Hopefully these segments will help you in your quest for the perfect movie collection. Several great films never get the recognition that they are due. So, I choose to share the ones I know of with you! Here’s another peek into my own personal movie stash. Enjoy!
(You can actually see ALL of the previous ones by clicking HERE).
Directed by George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). Starring Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Robert Shaw.
Synopsis (via Fandango):
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.
This 1973 heist classic comes from the same gene pool as films like the original The Italian Job (1969) and the original Ocean’s Eleven (1960). The only difference is that while The Italian Job and Ocean’s Eleven received nominations for Golden Globes and such like, The Sting received the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture at the 46th Academy Awards Ceremony on April 2, 1974!
Here’s the trailer:
Yes, you saw correctly in the trailer: The Sting didn’t just win The Academy Award for Best Picture! It won 6 others:
- Best Director (George Roy Hill)
- Best Writing- Story and Screenplay
- Best Art Direction- Set Decoration
- Best Costume Design
- Best Film Editing
- Best Music: Original song score and/or adaptation
(It was also nominated for 3 additional Oscars: Best Actor in Leading Role (Redford), Best Cinematography, and Best Sound.) Impressive!
Partnering Robert Redford and Paul Newman once again, this buddy-buddy adventure -while formulaic at times- proved to be a great success and director George Hill hit the nail on the head with this film! Not only does the veteran talent of the cast shine, but the period piece’s environment and attention to detail seamlessly transports viewers into the mob-ridden underworld of 1930’s Chicago!
While the characters of the film are a bit expected, that is partly due to so many films that have released since then that we have seen. The majority of heist films nowadays do nothing more than copy the formula of this huge success. Imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery! You will enjoy the work of Redford, Newman, Shaw, Jones, and more in this exciting heist film of heist films!
The story appeals to audiences of all types with a great blend with bits of revenge, a match of wits, action, suspense, film noir, loyalty, and evil vs. evil-er! ha! A classic that still appeals to viewers almost 40 years later!
Rated PG for language and violence, The Sting is a must-see! (be sure you watch The Sting and not the grossly sad sequel, The Sting II which NONE of the main cast returned for ten years later.)
*Interesting tidbit: “When asked about his possible role in The Sting, Jack Nicholson said, ‘I like it. I like the period setting, the whole project, and I know it will be commercial. But I need to put my energies into a movie that really needs them. I need to take a risk.'”
-Piazza, Jim, and Gail Kinn. The Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2008.
Thanks for reading! Again, you can click HERE to see the other previous dvd/blu-ray recommendations!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy watching!
–The Sp1der’s Score: I’m not going to rate the movies in the “Shared Shelf” segments….I already own them! That’s gotta tell you something!