MOVIE: ***** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
As a movie fan, I remember a lot of the films my parents took me to when I was younger. Dismissing the kids films, cartoons and Disney features that most children see at a young age, I still remember the bigger, more grown-up films I’d seen. I remember seeing “Jaws” and “Star Wars” at an early age and loving both. Conversely, I remember being bored to tears with the musical “Camelot.”
However, it’s “The Sting” that has some of the earliest memories for me. I remember my parents owned the soundtrack and played it often. We went to see “The Sting” in a historic theater, and even though it dealt with some more complex issues than a six-year-old would really understand, I remember thoroughly enjoying it.
The story follows some hustlers (Robert Redford and Paul Newman) who hatch a plot to rip off a crime boss (Robert Shaw) in Chicago after a friend of theirs is killed.
It’s a very simple story with lots of twists and turns in it. It’s also very tightly written, keeping a strong pace over its two-hour-plus running time. Even more than “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting” exemplifies the powerhouse box office duo of Redford and Newman. More accessible than “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting” is timeless even though it’s a period piece.
One of the most iconic elements to the film is its anachronistic score, which features rags by Scott Joplin (which were mostly popular a couple decades before the film takes place). This allows the movie, which features some gritty elements of organized crime and murder, to be given a relatively light-hearted treatment.
“The Sting” is a brilliant piece of moviemaking that is extremely watchable and completely enjoyable, even almost 40 years after it was made.
The new Blu-ray/DVD combo has been released in honor of Universal’s 100th anniversary. This new package includes a collector’s book as a case. Bonus features on the Blu-ray mirror the previous releases with the three-part documentary about the creation and development of the film called “The Art of The Sting” and the theatrical trailer. Additional features include the Universal 100th anniversary featurettes “100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics,” “100 Years of Universal: The 70s” and “100 Years of Universal: The Lot.”
The new Blu-ray is also enabled for pocketBLU support and BD-Live content.