Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Well after nearly 30 years I watched it again last Wednesday.....twice, back to back! And then again last night before I sadly returned it to the library. After those 30 years I could remember virtually everything, but what really hit me was the fact that at 12 I didn't understand the complexity of the plot. And yet I just instinctively knew, even back then ,what a truly great film it was. So when my first watch the other night was over it was fantastic to re-live those boyhood memories, and also appreciate the same film as an adult. The wonderful thing to was even though it wasn't visually new, the complex plot with the twists and turns were. And I must admit I was thrown, as was the point! In other words it got me! Suffice to say I had quite forgotten just how much I loooooovvveeeeeeeeeee this film!!
The Sting is a 1973 caper film that deals with a pair of professional grifters. Confidence men might be the better known term ,but the producers of the film really went out of their way for accuracy/authenticity. It is based on real life grifters, Fred and Charley Gondorff, and written about in, The Big Con : The Story Of the Confidence Man, by David Maurer. The surprising thing about the film is that all involved in its script and research were relatively young. For instance David S. Ward the screen writer was born in 1945. So it was an incredible feat for such a young man, with virtually no experience, to write one of cinema's finest ever scripts. ( Robert Redford states he knew it was a great script from the moment he read it. But he also realised it needed an extremely accomplished director to make it work ).
Actually the music is an almost uncredited actor here because it is the icing on the cake to the film. But there was a bit of controversy surrounding it as it is Ragtime, which was a style that had faded out by the Depression era. Yet the producers felt it fitted the film perfectly, and I don't think anyone can argue with it. It really is something very, very special! It was so special it was awarded one of the film's 7 Oscars, of the 10 it was nominated for.