From Melville to Madoff, the Confidence Man is an essential American archetype. George Roy Hill’s 1973 film The Sting treats this theme with a characteristic dexterity. The movie was warmly received in its time, winning seven Academy Awards, but there were some who thought the movie was nothing more than a slight throwback. Pauline Kael, among others, felt Hill’s film was mechanical and contrived: a callow and manipulative attempt to recapture the box-office success of Robert Redford and Paul Newman’s prior pairing, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. Matthew Specktor’s passionate, lyric meditation turns The Sting on its head, on its side, and right-side-up in an effort to unpack the film’s giddy complexity and secret, melancholic heart. Working off interviews with screenwriter David S. Ward and producer Tony Bill, and tacking from nuanced interpretation of its arching moods and themes to gimlet-eyed observation of its dizzying sleights-of-hand, Specktor opens The Sting up to disclose the subtle and stunning dimensions—sexual, political, and aesthetic—of Hill’s best film. Through Specktor’s lens, The Sting reveals itself as both an enduring human drama and a meditation on art-making itself, an ode to the necessary pleasure of being fooled at the movies.
Release on 2011-03-15 | by Ted Sherman,Josh Margolin
A True Story of Crooked Pols, Money-Laundering Rabbis, Black Market Kidneys, and the Informant Who Brought It All Down
Author: Ted Sherman,Josh Margolin
Pubpsher: St. Martin's Press
Category: True Crime
In the summer of 2009 the blog Gawker stated "Everybody in New Jersey Was Arrested Yesterday." Now for the first time, the real story behind the biggest corruption bust in New Jersey's notoriously corrupt history Among the forty-four people arrested in July 2009 were three mayors, five Orthodox rabbis, two state legislators, and the flamboyant deputy mayor of Jersey City, Leona Beldini, once a stripper using the stage name "Hope Diamond." At the center of it all was a dubious character named Solomon Dwek, who perpetrated a $50 million Ponzi scheme before copping a plea and wearing a wire as a secret FBI undercover informant, setting up friends, partners, rabbis, and dozens of politicians. Mr. Dwek played his role like an extra in a mob movie. On surveillance tape, he repeatedly referred to his fraudulent "schnookie deals," which is Yiddish for, well, schnook. Full of impossible-to-make-up detail and fresh revelations from the continuing trials and investigations, this book—the inside, untold account of a federal sting operation that moves from the streets of Brooklyn to the diners of Jersey City, and all the way to Israel—is a wonderful tour de force of investigative journalism by the reporting team that broke this amazing story.
Release on 2002-05-01 | by Alexander Edward McKenzie
Author: Alexander Edward McKenzie
Forty-year old Halsey Taylor, a sensitive high school social studies teacher and part-time private investigator, journeys into the seamy underbelly of Phoenix, from the treacherous ganglands to the highest political offices, when his job as a P.I. takes a definite full-time turn.