Friday, June 30, 2006

#2- The Sting- George Roy Hill- 1973

Doyle Lonnegan: Your boss is quite a card player, Mr. Kelly; how does he do it?
Johnny Hooker: He cheats.

A comdey, a buddy film, a tragedy and a heist. This is the reason I love cinema. Storytelling. ANd yes, it is #2, but for the longest time this was good ol #1. The only reason it has come to the second position is more or less to keep things fresh. Also, my idea of why I love film has changed since I was a kid. But for the time being, I will tell you why The Sting embodies the best of what cinema is.

For starters, it really is because of the story that this film is so high. Just as it says on IMDB, "remember how happy you felt the first time." It's true. This is the best first viewing film you will ever see. I won't talk much about plot becauise I feel of all classics, this is one the new generation forgets about. And why, I don't really know. It's not like this movie is dated or is a story that no one can relate to. It's your classic con game. One thing that blows me away about this film is the fact that on the AFI Top 100 films, it doesn't even appear. It won 7 Oscars, has three amazing performances and one of the best film scores to date.

The tag-team of Newman and Redford is better in this film then in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but I think that lends itself to a better story. One with a twist, original characters with quirks and a villain to top all villains. Yes, Doyle Lonegan played by the amazing Robert Shaw is one of the most badass villains in cinema history.

So why #2 now? Film used to be only about entertainment for me. Not that The Sting doesn't have great artistic value, it just wasn't the reason I loved it. I love it because no matter how many times I watch the scene in the train during the poker game, or as the con builds, or as Hooker does stupid things, its damn fun to watch. And I love entertainment. But it slid to #2 because now I appreciate artistic value that is also entertaining. And when #1 comes out, most of you probably haven't seen it. But the #1 film dethroned The Sting because it is a damn entertaining story with a message and with brilliant directing and writing that I appreciate on a higher level than any other film. That is why it gets the #1 spot I guess. But I don't like saying The Sting is #2. Because it really isn't. It's my #1 movie. Where as the next one is my #1 film. Strange concept, but when you are a film nerd, you realize the difference.

So God bless GRH for making this film and teaming two great actors against one in my personal favorite movie of all time.


Face of Spades said...

Word, Son.

j. leo said...

Still mind blowing that I know the guy who wrote it and he liked my stuff. Weird to have someone who's been there and done it and actually been on my list as as teacher, and a friend to us really. He's pretty cool as far as professors go.

NICKEL said...

Leo's a nerd.

I love this movie. I will never forget the first time I watched it and how "shocked" I was at the end.