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The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) to con a mob boss (Robert Shaw). The film was directed by George Roy Hill, who had directed Newman and Redford in the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Created by screenwriter David S. Ward, the story was inspired by real-life cons perpetrated by brothers Fred and Charley Gondorff and documented by David Maurer in his 1940 book The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man.

Plot

In 1936, in the waning years of the Great Depression. Johnny Hooker, a grifter in Joliet, Illinois, cons $11,000 in cash in a pigeon drop from an unsuspecting victim with the aid of his partners Luther Coleman and Joe Erie. Buoyed by the windfall, Luther announces his retirement and advises Hooker to seek out an old friend, Henry Gondorff, in Chicago to teach him "the big con". Unfortunately, their victim was a numbers racket courier for vicious crime boss Doyle Lonnegan. Corrupt Joliet police Lieutenant William Snyder confronts Hooker, revealing Lonnegan's involvement and demanding part of Hooker's cut. Having already blown his share on a single roulette spin, Hooker pays Snyder in counterfeit bills. Lonnegan's men murder both the courier and Luther, and Hooker flees for his life to Chicago.

Awards

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    author
    award Academy Award for Best Costume Design Academy Award for Best Director Academy Award for Best Film Editing Academy Award for Best Original Song Score Academy Award for Best Picture Academy Award for Best Production Design Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay National Board of Review Award for Best Film National Board of Review: Top Ten Films National Film Registry
    contentLocation Chicago
    director George Roy Hill
    editor William Reynolds
    events gambling organized crime
    genre crime western
    keywords 20th century 20th century limited across the board betting parlor big con con artist con man confidence trick crime boss crime scene fbi fbi agent great depression great depression in the united states grifter hide hired killer horse race kill morning mysterious figure numbers racket off-track betting old friend past-posting pigeon drop poker poker game police lieutenant roulette run summon trifecta walk western union win
    musicBy Marvin Hamlisch
    nomination Academy Award for Best Actor Academy Award for Best Cinematography Academy Award for Best Costume Design Academy Award for Best Director Academy Award for Best Film Editing Academy Award for Best Original Song Score Academy Award for Best Picture Academy Award for Best Production Design Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay
    producer Julia Phillips Michael Phillips Tony Bill
    publisher Universal Pictures
    recordedAt Chicago LaSalle Street Station Santa Monica
    theme gambling heist transport