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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 4/15/99

The Sting
1973 (1998) - Universal

review by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

The Sting Film Rating: A-

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): C-/A/C-

Specs and Features

129 mins, PG, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, production notes, cast & crew bios, film-themed menu screens, scene access (16 chapters), languages: English, Spanish & French (DD mono), subtitles: English & Spanish, Close Captioned

Redford and Newman were the Affleck and Damon of the 60s and 70s. It's a good thing, believe me. Imagine if Ben and Matt remade this. I'm not for remaking a classic, but if it had to be done - that's what I'd like the casting to be. I think it could be cool, if it were going to happy. Jeez, if Miramax is planning on remaking Harvey, then nothing is safe, is it?

The Sting is about two con men who, when not grifting each other, are planning on pulling the most elaborate con of their careers. Set in 1930s Chicago, Redford plays Johnny Hooker, a small timer with a penchant for good-natured crime. Paul Newman is Henry Gondorff - a bigger fish who helps Hooker get revenge for a fallen friend. The character interplay is classic, with strong dialogue and a nice little "unfolding" of the featured con job. It's a very fun film.

The DVD is, grrrrrrr, modified for your TV - meaning it's frickin' formatted to fit your screen. Why, Universal? Picture quality doesn't suffer for it; it's an okay transfer. The film is shot to look period, and the colors are dull, with thick blacks and earth tones. That's the way it was intended, and it looks fine on DVD. The sound is pretty great. I didn't really notice that it's a simple mono track - it has more depth than that. It doesn't need a killer sound field, so it's just fine. No extras, not a one, aside from the notes and cast bios - but where is the trailer? Where is the commentary track? Where is the letterbox? I dunno, but they're not on this disc.

Todd Doogan
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