Best Picture Winners Part 46 (of 89): The Sting


Title: The Sting
Year: 1973
Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Runtime: 2 hr 9 mins

What It Is: Taking place in Chicago in the year 1936 this film sees a con man named Johnny Hooker (Redford) seeking revenge for the death of his partner. To do so he enlists the help of a master con man by the name of Henry Gondorff (Newman) to put one over on a criminal banker. Things don’t go according to plan but as any good con man knows they never do. With their minds set and an ear for improvisation, they embark on perhaps their gutsiest and the most dangerous ruse to date. All with the goal of revenge and possibly getting out of this game that cost them so much.

Memorable Quote: Louise Coleman: If I didn’t know you better, I’d swear you had some class!

Competition: Diverse but fairly strong. To start we have American Graffiti George Lucas received his first Best Director nomination for this slice of 1950’s life. With a focus on a set of young people who love nothing more than cars and a good chocolate malt. This is a movie that relies on Lucas’ ability to tell the story then so the story or the acting of it. Cries and Whispers see Swedish master Ingmar Bergman’s opus surround 2 women whose sister is dying of cancer. This woman finds no comfort in her siblings who are all off living their lives. She instead finds this in her housekeeper who herself has suffered an awful tragedy. This once again is directors film Bergman is unflinching in the reality of life almost a depressing car crash whose crescendo prolificates throughout. With The Exorcist we see director William Friedkin making it known he’ll not be outdone. He does this by ratcheting up the tension and the terror. A very young Linda Blair earned an Oscar nomination, only to lose to an even younger Tatum O’Neil. Forever etched as one of the scariest films ever made. There is still much to be said about the absolute classic of atmospheric terror. Lastly, A Touch of Class bucks the trend of this year and instead of being a director’s film is carried by Glenda Jackson’s Oscar-winning performance. With so many other incredible films in this year, one has to point to this as a hallmark year for cinema Paper Moon, Serpico, Last Tango in Paris, and The Way We Were all also came out and might’ve stood a chance to win the award.

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