The Sting ★★★★

Robert Shaw has such effortless pathos that seeing him gamble becomes far more compelling than seeing him lose. The film subsists so wholly on his and Newman’s and Redford’s performances that the emotional makeup of competition is more compelling than its mechanics—in other words, the emotional affect of loss or gain as opposed to the quantity of such. The entire film could be just a silent shot assembly of them eyeing each other mercurially at a card table and it’d still be a classic. Perhaps this is because all three have steely blue eyes.