Oh, those rickety biplanes, all canvas and wood and held together by spit and a prayer, come taxiing out of the early morning fog and there’s the sad tin whistle music and the eager young men jumping to get up in the air and get themselves killed, and I’m a basket case from the get-go, all tears and sobby and having just the best time I can have at the movies: I. Am. Moved.
The Sting is pretty universally acknowledged as one of the best films ever made. From the flawless performances all round to the clever script, this is movie magic that approaches a kind of wizardry. Not a note is out of place — every line, every scene builds on what’s come before until it ends so breathlessly and abruptly that it leaves you astounded at its audacity. Lonnegan’s not the only one who gets conned; writer David S. Ward and director George Roy Hill sting the viewer, too. This is just about as perfect as movies come.