Newman and Redford classic The Sting grifts its way onto 4K Ultra HD. So, how does it shape up? Is it right on, or a big con?
The story: After inadvertently crossing a mob boss and losing his partner as retribution, small-time hustler Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) seeks out long con expert Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) to assist him in exacting revenge.
“Glad to meet you, kid. You’re a real horse’s ass.”
The 4K disc: Even in the early 1970s, The Sting was a film that was made to look old. This native 4K transfer manages to bring it all onscreen remarkably well, and definitely better looking than previous Blu-ray or DVD releases. Due to limitations in how it was made it won’t be your first go-to 4K demo disc, but if you’re a fan of the film – or have yet to have the pleasure – then you’d be doing yourself a disservice in not checking this 4K release out. HDR enhancement helps rare outbreaks of hues – made in colour, it’s still quite a sepia film – while grain is ever-present, and does fluctuate from shot-to-shot. Still, we were watching with a critical eye, so we likely noticed it more than most would. Just sit back and take in the classic film!
Audio comes via a pre-existing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that does the job ably, letting Marvin Hamlisch’s takes on Scott Joplin’s tunes shine, keeping dialogue clear and centred, and providing decent atmosphere via the surround channels.
The 4K disc itself includes some welcome, great quality extras, chief of which is definitely a three-part, almost hour-long feature entitled The Art of The Sting. There’s also a trailer, and three “100 Years of Universal” featurettes. A standard Blu-ray is generously included, mirroring the contents of the 4K disc (but without the 4K transfer and HDR, obviously).
Release date: May 26, 2021
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.