THE STING
1973, Universal, 129 min, USA, Dir: George Roy Hill

Circa 1936, con artist Robert Redford goes to his mentor, Paul Newman, for help when their mutual friend is whacked by the henchmen of numbers racketeer Robert Shaw. Newman decides to get a gang together that will put in play a complex scheme to fleece homicidal high-roller Shaw of a small fortune. The sterling cast includes Charles Durning, Ray Walston and Eileen Brennan. The epitome of the 1970s buddy film, THE STING won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Screenplay (by David S. Ward), Costume Design, Art Direction and Music (Marvin Hamlisch, adapted from Scott Joplin’s ragtime tunes).


THE CHEAP DETECTIVE
2011, Sony Repertory (Columbia), 92 min, USA, Dir: Robert Moore

In this follow-up to MURDER BY DEATH, Peter Falk stars as Lou Peckinpaugh, a penny-pinching private eye trying to stay ahead of the police as he tracks down his partner’s killer and some missing diamonds in 1940s San Francisco. This loving parody of film noir - and Bogart movies in particular - rounds up all sorts of usual suspects, including Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan, Sid Caesar, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise, Stockard Channing and Louise Fletcher, to play the assorted femmes fatale, fall-guys, cops and crooks peopling Neil Simon’s gag-filled screenplay.


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