I just rented this DVD and watched the whole thing, but I've seen this movie several times before.
Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) is a con artist who unknowingly swindles a lackey of crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). After Hooker's partner in the crime is killed, Hooker vows revenge against Lonnegan and seeks Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), one of the best cons in the game to help in the big Sting. Hooker would love to do more than just hit Lonnegan for a lot of money, but "doesn't know enough about killin' to kill him."
It's not easy separating a crime boss from his money, especially when he owns half the politicians and police. They have to take him without him even knowing he was taken. What follows is an exciting deception, carried out with professionalism and ingenuity.
I don't think the chemistry between Newman and Redford is quite as good as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but it's still pretty darn good. Lines like this:
Redford (first seeing his arch-enemy): "He's not as tough as he thinks."
Newman: "Neither are we"
The story is classic. You don't exactly know who's who, and you wonder how they're going to pull it off in the end. Scott Joplin's ragtime music, although somewhat anachronistic, is effective at keeping the movie somewhat lighthearted. There are a couple of instances of swearing and a stripper with pasties on, which gives it a PG rating.
The reason for four stars is the fact that the DVD has NO EXTRAS, and the only option is the full screen version, no widescreen. A movie as good as this deserves better, which is unfortunate.
Overall, this is a great movie with great cinematography (transition wipe effects and some tracking shots) and phenomenal acting. Enjoy.