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The Sting

The Sting(1973)

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  • It was just prior to Liz Taylor's presentation of the Best Picture Oscar for this film that the streaker Robert Opal darted across the stage as 'Niven, David' was introducing her. It was this incident (among others) that inspired singer Ray Stevens to write the song The Streak that went to the top of the US charts the month after the awards. Incidentally, Opal was found murdered in his San Francisco sex shop in 1979.
  • 'Shaw, Robert' injured his ankle and incorporated the resulting limp into his performance.
  • [Source for these items: Elwy Yost interviews with Ward, Bill, and Bumstead.]- David S. Ward got the idea for this movie when he was working on the script for Steelyard Blues (1973), which includes a pickpocketing scene. Researching this, Ward found himself reading about con artists. Ward had shown the other screenplay to Tony Bill, so he now gave him an outline of this story. Bill liked it immediately and brought in Julia Phillips and Michael Phillips; the three then produced both films.- Ward wrote the script with 'Redford, Robert' in mind as Hooker, but Redford initially turned the part down. Even after changing his mind, he didn't expect the movie to be a hit.- 'Shaw, Robert' got the part of Lonnegan only after 'Boone, Richard' and another actor had declined it.- George Roy Hill saw the screenplay by accident and asked for the director's job. He routinely showed his projects to 'Newman, Paul' , and Newman was pleased to join this one.- Hill wanted to film the picture on location, but Henry Bumstead was adamant that it would be much too hard to get the period appearance right; for example, things like lane markings on the streets. In the end, the only location shooting was a few days' worth in Chicago and Los Angeles; most of the exteriors were filmed on Universal's back lot.
  • Redford's character (Johnny Hooker) is supposedly named after Blues Legend John Lee Hooker
  • Ragtime music, which sets the mood of the film, was no longer popular by the time of the setting of the film (1930s)

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