About an hour into The Sting I began to understand it. Not the plot, which is clear enough, but the raison d'être. This Paul Newman-Robert Redford vehicle is set in the thirties, and I couldn't really understand why. Unlike (say) Bonnie and Clyde, the story isn't tied to the period. Why do it that way?… Audiences, I guess, aren't as nostalgic for the decade itself—most of them are too young to have known it—as they are for films of the decade. This isn't a film about the thirties as much as it's an attempt to make a thirties film. It's the Antiques Made to Order business. (p. 252)
Recurrently, to the point of galloping tedium, articles appear telling us how American films have...
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