A con and a film are very similar branches from the same tree, if you think about it. Both try very hard, using characters, costumes, and overall appearance, to convince you that what you’re seeing is real. The difference is, when you sit down to watch a movie, you agree up front to be the mark, eagerly awaiting the proceedings to see how they plan to fool you, to make you believe enough to invest.
Coming just four years after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, George Roy Hill, Paul Newman and Robert Redford teamed up again and hit another home run of entertainment, this time taking home the Oscar for Best Picture. Oh, and Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Costume Design and more. The two leads have truckloads of chemistry and the film has charm for miles. It’s just undeniably fun, but strikes a great balance between being enjoyable but also being very well-made. I knew I was sitting down for a caper movie, but the twists still got me, despite trying to figure out who or what would throw a wrench into the plans. It’s a testament to Ward’s script and Hill’s direction that I could never spot the tell. Neither overplayed their hand and in the end, all I could do was go along for the ride until they took me.
As good con men should.