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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by George Roy Hill
USA 1973

Four years after setting box offices ablaze in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill re-teamed with similar success for The Sting. Redford plays Depression-era confidence trickster Johnny Hooker, whose friend and mentor Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) is murdered by racketeer/gambler Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Hoping to avenge Luther's death, Johnny begins planning a "sting" -- an elaborate scam -- to destroy Lonnegan. He enlists the aid of "the greatest con artist of them all," Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), who pulls himself out of a drunken stupor and rises to the occasion. Hooker and Gondorff gather together an impressive array of con men, all of whom despise Lonnegan and wish to settle accounts on behalf of Luther. The twists and surprises that follow are too complex to relate in detail -- suffice to say that you can't cheat an honest man, and that you shouldn't accept everything at face value. The Sting became one of the biggest hits of the early '70s; grossing 68.5 million dollars during its first run, the film also picked up seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Adapted Score for Marvin Hamlisch's unforgettable setting of Scott Joplin's ragtime music.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

***

The movie has a nice, light-fingered style to it. Hill gently kids the 1930s with his slight exaggerations of fashions and styles. He tells his story episodically, breaking the movie down into the various plateaus of the con game. And he's awfully good at maintaining a kind of off-balance pacing; we can never quite pin Newman and Redford down. They're always sort of angling into scenes, making enigmatic statements under their breath and staying at least a step ahead of us. Hill's visual style is oblique; instead of stationing his actors in the frame and recording the action, he seems to sneak up on it. Newman and Redford almost seem on their way to another movie. If that sounds like a criticism, it's not meant as one: The style here is so seductive and witty it's hard to pin down.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert's Review Found HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 25th, 1973

Reviews                                                                                   More Reviews                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Universal - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal (Legacy Series) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Universal Pictures - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Maarten de Haas for the Universal Pictures PAL DVD Screen Caps!

1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Out of Print

    

    

  

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal (Legacy Series)

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal Pictures
Region 2,4 - PAL
Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:09:12 2:09:08 2:03:54 (4% PAL speedup) 2:09:16.874
Video

1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.16 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7,23 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,888,861,943 bytes

Feature: 33,924,999,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.29 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Universal

 

Bitrate:

Universal

LEGACY SERIES

Bitrate:

 

Universal Pictures

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal Pictures Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, DUBS: French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital DTS, English Dolby Digital 2.0, DUBS: French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, DUBS: German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, Italian Dolby Digital 2.

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2992 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2992 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, Spanish, none English, Spanish, French, none Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Portuguese, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish and none English, Spanish, French, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33

Edition Details:
• Production Notes
• Bios

DVD Release Date: March 31st, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Universal
(Legacy)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• The Art of The Sting - A Retrospective on the making of The Sting (56:14)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Production Notes

DVD Release Date: September 6th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters  16

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Production notes
• Cast and Filmmaker's notes
• Theatrical trailer

 

DVD Release Date: August 11, 2003
Keepcase

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio:
Universal

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,888,861,943 bytes

Feature: 33,924,999,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.29 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

The Art of The Sting (23:15) (22:55) (10:03)
Trailer (02:13)
1
00 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics (09:13)
100 Years of Universal: The '70s (11:02)
100 Years of Universal: The Lot (09:26)


Blu-ray Release Date:
May 7th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (May 2019): "The Sting" is transferred to a dual-layered Blu-ray disc from Universal. This is the same disc that was released in 2012 by Universal, as evidenced by the disc's files that indicate a 2012 date. The 1.85:1 1080p image looks initially pleasing, though upon further inspection this 2012 transfer definitely shows some instances of DNR. This might not have been as noticeable back in 2012, but large-screen TV's are now ubiquitous, only amplifying said digital tinkering. Aside from that gripe, a very strong contrast shows a great deal of deep and rich colors, whether it is the green poker table, or the Paul Newman's sparkling baby blue eyes. Grain doesn't seem as evident as it should be (most likely due to the DNR utilized to eliminate "noise"). This Oscar winning film surely deserves a new error-free transfer by now.

"The Sting" gets a 5.1 surround bump via a DTS-HD Master audio track (in 24-bit). The surround effects are subtle but effective, we get the aforementioned "
Best Adapted Score for Marvin Hamlisch's unforgettable setting of Scott Joplin's ragtime music" helping establish the
time period. There are optional English SDH, Spanish or French subtitles on this Region Free Blu-ray from Universal.

The Universal
Blu-ray contains some well-produced, previously used, extras that border on fluff. Honestly, who needs to see a giant studio conglomerate pat themselves on the back for all the great risks they took in the past. Once you get past all that, there are some things to be gleaned from the various interviews with the cast and screenwriter in particular. The 3 Universal 'featurettes' last a total of about 30-min, but thankfully we have "The Art of The Sting" which has even more in-depth interviews with various people associated with the film. The trailer is also here.

Universal are certainly not treating this film with the justice it deserves. It has simply re-released their weak 2012
Blu-ray (albeit for a lower price at the time of this writing). Why? Maybe the only upgrade will be a 4K UHD transfer one of these days. We can hope.

Colin Zavitz

***

ADDITION: - Universal Legacy Series NTSC (2005) - There is a big difference in the color scheme of these three DVDs and although we may never know with 100% certainty which is most accurate - the new Legacy edition has the most true skin tones. Luckily this one is in its theatrical aspect ratio (1.85) and is anamorphic. We have noticed in past comparisons that full-frame and open-matte transfers always seem to be sharper than their widescreen counterparts (see Eye of the Beholder comparison HERE). I don't know why this is. Regardless, with the optional audio bumps, bonus disc of the 50 minute documentary "The Art of the Sting" - and the feature's more realistic skin tones we judge the Legacy to be the issue to own.

***

Anybody got any tape? Yes even the newer Universal - Region 1 "The Sting" DVD sold HERE is the Open Matte, 1.33 - full screen version. You can see a little more cropped on the side edges of the Region 1 as well. Widescreen fans of this film in North America are not very happy. I would have bet that on the newer version Universal (R1) would have got it right. Unfortunately the PAL edition is somewhat hazier with a pinkish hue making skin tones redder. Extras are nothing to rave about but the Region 2,4 wins with an added theatrical trailer. So if you want to see this like its theatrical debut, you need to buy the Region 2,4 PAL edition.

- Gary Tooze


DVD Menus

( Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC - Disc 1 )

 

 

( Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC - Disc 2 )

 



(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures - Region 2,4 - PAL - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

 

Out of Print

    

    

  

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal (Legacy Series)

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal Pictures
Region 2,4 - PAL
Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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