[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheSting.jpg]]

->''"Dukey, if this thing blows up, the Feds will be the least of our problems."''
-->-- '''Kid Twist'''

'''''The Sting''''' is an [[TropeCodifier iconic]] [[TheCon con film]] released in 1973. It reunites ''ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid'' director Creator/GeorgeRoyHill with stars Creator/RobertRedford and Creator/PaulNewman.

Set in 1930s Chicago, the film opens up with novice con Johnny Hooker and his mentor, Luther, as they pull off their latest sting. Unfortunately, they've bitten off more than they can chew this time; their latest victim has connections to BigBad racketeer Doyle Lonnegan. When Lonnegan's goons rub out Luther and put a hit on Hooker's head, Hooker seeks out his mentor's friend, Henry Gondorff, a master of the "big con". Assembling their team, Hooker and Gondorff prepare to scam the big one out of Lonnegan.

And just to complicate things, Hooker is being chased by a policeman and the band's got to make sure Lonnegan never even finds out he's been conned, otherwise he'll put hits on all of them.

The film was nominated for ten AcademyAwards, winning seven (including Best Picture).
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!!This film features examples of:

* TheAlcoholic: Subverted, Gondorff is introduced in the story during a heavy hangover but it's a one time instance and he is a ConsummateProfessional, despite Hooker's first impression.
* TheAssimilator: Conventional example in Lonnegan's modus operandi, he expands his criminal empire by learning the trades and insights of an illegal business to eventually take it over.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Kid Twist (''Kid Twist!'') wants to know who else is available for the big con:
-->Horse Face Lee, Slim Miller, Suitcase Murphy and the Big Alabama are in from New Orleans; Crying Jonesy and the Boone Kid from Denver; Dippy Burke and Limehouse Chappie from New York ...
* BerserkButton: Doyle Lonnegan gets ''angry'' if you mispronounce his name (though he has the self-control to hold back for at least a little while).
* TheBigBoard: With horse racing odds and results.
* BigStore: The betting parlour.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The protagonists are con men who swindle people for a living, but their antagonists are worse; a scummy courier, a corrupt brutal cop and a ruthless gangster.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Luther
* BloodFromTheMouth: [[spoiler:Hooker fakes this at the end as part of the big con.]]
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: Lonnegan takes one of these to bet at the con.
* {{Burlesque}}: Hooker's girlfriend stars in a burlesque show.
* [[{{CatchPhrase/Film}} Catch Phrase]]: Doyle Lonnegan's "Ya folla?" (You follow?), used habitually enough to be something of a VerbalTic.
* ChekhovsGun: A very quick one. When it's time to get ready to pull the Big Con, Hooker is seen putting something in his mouth while standing in front of his mirror. [[spoiler: It's the blood bag that he uses to fake BloodFromTheMouth at the climax.]]
* ComplexityAddiction: Salino is a sufferer.
* TheCon: One so good it [[spoiler: cons the big one out of its audience!]]
* TheConWithinACon: The initial plan is for Hooker to try and entice Lonnegan into wanting to pull a con on Gondorff posing as a bookie named Shaw.
* ConmanInMarksClothing: Gondorff plays a Napier, an obnoxious bookie named Shaw whom Lonnegan is set to rip-off with inside help from ''Kelly'' (Hooker).
* ConfiscatedPhone: Hooker pulls a woman making out of a call out of a pay phone booth in order to try to call Luther before [[spoiler: he's murdered]], then runs off to try and reach him. Hooker's friend is left behind, being swatted by the woman and her purse because she lost her nickel and wants it back.
* ConMan: Many of the main characters. Erie and Hooker start in a lower, {{Hustler}} territory since they lack experience in the LongCon.
* ConMenHateGuns: Averted, Hooker would happily kill the villain in revenge for the murder of his friend Luther, but realizes that he doesn't know enough about killing people to successfully pull it off and opts for cheating him out of a fortune instead.
* ConspicuousConsumption: Hooker uses his share of a small con to impress a girl, it backfires.
* CriminalProcedural: A team of con artists setting up shop to scam a racketeer.
* CuffsOffRubWrists: Hooker, after Snyder arrests him.
* DawsonCasting: One of the few complaints about the movie was that Redford seemed too old to be playing a rookie character like Hooker.
* DeadpanSnarker
** Hooker. Erie occasionally. Snyder is the regular target of their sarcastic quips.
** Lonnegan -of all people- has his moments too; when he rubs Erie's nose in it regarding a losing tip and when he makes a jab about insulating his bodyguard from smart guys, lest he starts thinking for himself.
* DeathGlare: Lonnegan's common stance, prominent example towards the train attendant who vouched for Shaw (Gondorff), when Shaw shows up and is revealed to be a drunkard.
* DelayedWire: The off-track betting [[TheTale tale]].
* DetectiveMole: [[spoiler: the "FBI agents" who assist Lieutenant Snyder are an integral part of the con]].
* DidYouJustScamCthulhu: The whole point of the film.
* DirtyCop: Lt. Snyder... CounterfeitCash notwithstanding.
* TheDreaded: Lonnegan, TheMark, to the point one fellow con man prefers money in advance over a cut of the winnings and another points out ''if the thing blows up, the Feds will be the least of our problems''
-->'''Hooker''': You are afraid of him.
-->'''Gondorff''': Right down to my socks, buster.
* DreamTeam: There is a roster and a casting to assemble one, with a token novice too. Gondorff remarks he would be able to recruit a crew of three hundred con artists.
* TheDragon: Floyd to his boss, TheBigBad Doyle Lonnegan. He's unafraid to disagree with Lonnegan, and even mildly argues with him.
* DuelingStarsMovie: Newman vs Redford, [[{{Foil}} unharmonic partners]], one is a weary veteran con master and the other an up-and-coming impulsive and unpolished con man.
* EpisodeTitleCard
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Subverted with the main duo and with other characters; as befits a con film, few things are what they seem to be at first:
** Hooker is in the middle of a short con, so he deliberately projects the image of a random and unsympathetic bystander. Some clues about his deception may be picked up in hindsight.
** As mentioned above, Gondorff appears to be an alcoholic washout in his first appearance, but he is a ConsummateProfessional and one of the best con artists out there. Invoked in-universe a second time when ''Shaw'' comes across as a drunken slob to Lonnegan when the two first met.
* FakeBrit: In-universe. Curly Jackson, a grifter from Baltimore who joins the con, masquerades as an Englishman.
* AFoolAndHisNewMoneyAreSoonParted: Hooker is a con artist, but his wits do not apply beyond his profession and he engages in ruinous SuspiciousSpending, losing his share in an afternoon. He becomes aware of it so in the end [[spoiler: he [[KeepTheReward forfeits his share]].]]
* GagPenis: An old burlesque joke told by burlesque comic Leonard Barr. The punchline is, "Yeah, but this one's eating my popcorn!"
* GetTheeToANunnery: The title. In old parlance, it was the final part of a con -- the bit where the con men took the mark's money -- and could be used metonymically for the whole con itself. Today, people tend to think of police sting operations. (Which is rather circular- the original Operation Sting was named ''for'' this movie.)
* TheGreatDepression: Chicago 1936
* HandOfDeath: Subverted; it's revealed that the [[ProfessionalKiller hit man]] hired to rub out Hooker is named Salino. However, the ominous hands that show up every so often are those of [[spoiler: the bodyguard Gondorff hired for Hooker. The bodyguard shoots Salino.]]
* HandSignals: The ConArtist recognition signal and Dukie's "stop" sign.
* HollywoodSilencer: A silenced revolver (And it's not a Nagant or one of the obscure designs purpose made for the folks at MoscowCentre) appears at one point.
* ImportantHaircut: Hooker has one (along with new clothes and a manicure) when he puts himself under the tutelage of Gondorff at the beginning the long con.
* InNameOnly: The very inferior sequel ''TheSting II'' starred Jackie Gleason and Mac Davis as characters with vaguely similar names to the ones played by Newman and Redford in the original: Gleason plays ''Fargo'' Gondorff and Davis plays a seemingly lobotomized ''Jake'' Hooker. Doyle Lonnegan still has his original name, but Oliver Reed plays him as an erudite bookworm, whereas Robert Shaw's Lonnegan would be more likely to beat someone with a book than actually read it.
* IrisOut
* TheIrishMob: Strangely, in post-Capone Chicago.
* KansasCityShuffle: The final con is so good it not only convinces a cop, it convinces the audience until we're let in on it.
* KarmicThief: The [[ConMan Con Men]] [[TheCon scam]] a mobster who murdered one of their fellow con artists.
* KeepTheReward: A variation in the end, Hooker forfeits his share because he wasn't in it for the money and he reckons he would blow it anyway.
* LeParkour: The chase/evasion scene at the elevated train stop.
* TheLoinsSleepTonight: The weary Gondorff the night before the big con. Used as counterpoint to the up-and-coming Hooker, who scores a one night stand.
* TheMagicPokerEquation: Justified in this case because ''both'' players are cheating.
* MaliciousMisnaming: Gondorff repeatedly and deliberately gets Lonnegan's surname wrong to get under his skin.
* MassiveMultiplayerScam: The "big con." Gondorff and Hooker set up a fake off-track betting joint to con Lonnegan into betting on horses with delayed results so the con men already know the winners.
* MeaningfulName: Hooker is a ''snarer''. It seems to be his real surname and not an InUniverseNickname. Lampshaded in one of the chapter headings on the DVD: ''Hooker Hooked by the Feds''
* {{Mentor}}: Hooker is redirected by Luther ([[ParentalSubstitute paternalist]]) to Gondorff, more [[CynicalMentor cynical]].
* MentorOccupationalHazard: Luther
* MistakenIdentity: Lonnegan spends the entire movie sending people to kill Luther's partner Hooker (who he's never seen). Meanwhile, he's heavily involved with "Shaw's" turncoat "Kelly" (who the goons trying to kill Hooker have never seen). He never realizes that Hooker and "Kelly" are the same person.
* {{MondeGreen}}: Invoked in the final bet with the horse Lucky Dan. [[spoiler: "I said place! Place it on Lucky... That horse is gonna run second!"]]
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: When Lonnegan is informed by Kelly that Shaw played him like a fiddle, his first intention is to kill them both right there on the train and get rid of the bodies. Floyd tries to talk some sense into him, because [[PragmaticVillainy they are about to reach the station and there were other players on the table who could get suspicious]].
* NoseTapping: A signal between the con men. Trope image as of Jun'12.
* NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught: Part of the con involves Gondorff ''out-cheating'' Lonnegan.
-->'''Lonnegan''' What was I supposed to do? Call him for cheating better than me in front of the others?
* ObsessiveCompulsiveBarkeeping: The bartender in Billie's whorehouse can be seen drying a glass with a cloth.
* OhCrap: Subverted, the con men quietly panic when Lonnegan approaches the inexperienced Joe Erie, but Erie delivers a magnificent performance.
** When Harmon tells Donnegan--who bet $500,000 on Lucky Dan to win--that Lucky Dan is going to run second.
* OpenSecret: Mundane example with Hooker's big hit.
-->'''Hooker''': If Snyder knows about us, so does everybody else. He never gets anything first
* OrphanedPunchline: During the burlesque scene, the first part of a background joke is not heard because Hooker is talking.
* PercussivePickpocket: While Doyle Lonnegan is walking through the train to the poker game, Billie (Gondorff's girlfriend) bumps into him and steals his wallet. He doesn't notice until after he loses big at the poker game and tries to take it out to pay off his debt.
* PlayingDrunk: Gondorff pretends to be drunk to justify acting offensively toward Doyle Lonnegan. To enhance his act he gargles with gin to get alcohol-laden breath and brings along a gin bottle [[WateringDown cut with water]] to drink from.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: Henry Gondorff contacting his old crew.
* {{Retirony}}: Luther is killed shortly after he tells Hooker how he'll use his share to go straight and support his family.
* RealitySubtext: Robert Shaw, who plays Doyle Lonnegan, injured his knee just before the shooting began. He incorporated the resulting limp into his performance.
* {{Revenge}}: Hooker's driving force against Lonnegan. Also the reason for Gondorff and his band, but more toned down to avoid unprofessionalism.
* RobbingTheMobBank: The opening ShortCon; a team of con artists (Johnny Hooker, Luther Coleman and Joe Erie) inadvertently swindle a numbers runner for crime boss Doyle Lonnegan. Lonnegan assigns hit men to find and kill each of them, and the hit men appear and carry out attacks throughout the movie
* RootingForTheEmpire: In-universe example, Luther's wife is displeased about their kids rooting for the police ''against'' Machine Gun Kelly in a radio serial.
* SamusIsAGirl: [[spoiler: Salino]]'s first name is Loretta.
* SearchingTheStalls: Johnny Hooker is trying to escape a hit man trying to kill him. He goes into a restroom to hide. The hit man enters and starts opening doors to find him. He gets to the last stall and realizes there's a woman inside. He figures Hooker went out the window and does the same. It turns out Hooker was inside the stall with the woman -- she was helping him.
* ShamefulSourceOfKnowledge: Doyle Lonnegan tries to cheat Henry Gondorff with a stacked deck during a poker game, but Gondorff outsmarts him by switching out the cards he was given for better ones.
-->'''Floyd:''' We can't let him get away with that.
-->'''Lonnegan:''' What was I supposed to do? Call him for cheating better than me in front of the others?
* ShoutOut: Hooker loses a bundle at a rigged roulette wheel that comes up 22 -- the same number that comes up on the rigged roulette wheel in ''Film/{{Casablanca}}''.
* StabTheScorpion: The bodyguard reveals himself by [[spoiler: shooting Salino]].
* StagedShooting: [[spoiler: Hooker and Gondorff, as part of their Big Con.]]
* StandardSnippet: "The Entertainer," by Scott Joplin, is the film's main theme.
* StraightEdgeEvil: Doyle Lonnegan is a sober country-club-member banking gentleman with no apparent interest in women and whose only vice is poker ... [[NotableQuotables and he cheats. He's good at it too.]] His real money comes from his numbers racket, and he won't hesitate to murder anyone who cons him out of a single payment from a single runner on a single day of it.
* TheTale: One of the named segments. Lonnegan is made to believe insider information about a DelayedWire.
* TalentDouble: Gondorff's hands doing card tricks before the poker game are actually those of technical adviser and professional magician John Scarne.
* TrouserSpace: Johnny Hooker demonstrates trouser space when suggesting that a money courier should hide his money there. This was a trick. During the demonstration, Hooker switched the courier's money for a wad of plain paper. This con is called The Jamaican / Hankie switch.
* TwistEnding: First, Lonnegan hires Salino to kill Hooker, and when Hooker is walking through an alley, smiles, seeing his girlfriend, a man behind Hooker pulls out a gun, points it, and shoots [[spoiler: her. Turns out he's a body guard Gondorff hired to protect Hooker, and Hooker's girlfriend was actually Salino, the assassin who would have killed him.]] Second, the FBI guys bust into the gambling den to arrest Gondorff, and per their promise, let Hooker go. At this point, [[spoiler: Gondorf shoots Hooker, and the FBI guy shoots Gondorff. The FBI guy has the cop rush Lonnegan out of the place. After they leave, Gondorff and Hooker get up, with blood stains like they've been shot. We then find out it was a [[FakingTheDead scam]] to make both the cop and Lonnegan think they're both dead.]]
* UnderdressedForTheOccasion: Gondorff deliberately dresses like a drunken slob at a big poker game with Lonnegan on a train.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: The audience is aware of most of the setup, but there are several details that remain hidden until the very end.
* VengeanceFeelsEmpty: In the final scene [[spoiler: Hooker, proving [[CynicalMentor Gondorff]] right, feels this way after beating Lonnegan and remarks vengeance it's not enough. He still cracks a joke: "but it's close!"]]
* VerbalTic: Ya folla?
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The story was inspired by real-life con games perpetrated by the brothers Fred and Charley Gondorff and documented by David Maurer in his book ''The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man.''
* VideoCredits: The opening credits.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Is mentioned offhandedly that Lonnegan is a Knight of Columbus and is primarily known as a banker.
* WhatTheHellHero: Luther calls Hooker out on his SuspiciousSpending. It's most unwise for a con man to be flashing his money.
* TheWindyCity: Hooker moves to Chicago after the events of the initial con.
* {{Wipe}}
* YouGotSpunk: Kid Twist tells Kid Erie (who wants in on the con) that he's got moxie for keeping his mouth shut when Snyder beats him up for not talking and being snarky instead.
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