The Sting – 1974
Having already directed Newman and Redford in the cult western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, George Roy Hill returned to the directors’ chair for a second outing with the pair as lovable rogues. Instead of train robbers this time they would be grifters trying to con a dangerous mob boss (Robert Shaw).
The story was inspired by real-life cons perpetrated by brothers Fred and Charley Gondorff and documented by David Maurer in his book The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man.
Julia Phillips, one of the film’s producers, became the first woman to be nominated for and to win the Academy Award for Best Picture when The Sting won the award that night. It became a historical milestone for the acceptance of women having greater positions in film productions than just merely acting roles or others.