Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 07 - The best plot twist/ending

Without a doubt, my gold standard for plot twists and surprise endings is The Sting (1973).  If you haven't seen it, well, I'll try not to spoil the ending for you so you can go watch it and get the full effect of the twists.

The Sting sparked my affection for con men, which began when I first saw this as a teen and led directly to my love of Sawyer on Lost.  It's also the best example of a twisty ending that I've ever seen, one that makes the audience cheer instead of feel cheated.

Shaw, Redford, and Newman

It all starts when Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and his partner Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones, father of James Earl Jones) con the wrong guy.  Luther gets killed for it, and Johnny wants revenge.  To get it, he looks up Luther's old partner, Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), and the two set up a long con to take down the man behind Luther's murder, big-time crook Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw).

 That's all I can say about the plot without spoiling you too much.  So instead I'll mention how much I love the score, which is full of ragtime classics by Scott Joplin, and the costumes, both of which make this period piece loads of fun.  Newman and Redford look awesome in Depression-era clothes, both casual and dressy, and I like them both in this even better than in their other great film together, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).  Personally, I prefer Newman over Redford, but they're both great in this.

Oh, and it definitely deserved the 7 Oscars it won, in my humble opinion :-)

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