What happens when you take a tightly plotted, well thought out and entertaining script, then bring it to life through two of the time period’s greatest actors? You get The Sting.

Aspiring con man Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and older pro Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) team up to take revenge on crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Rober Shaw) after he kills a mutual friend. They set up a complicated scheme to get back at Lonnegan, but when plans go awry, Hooker and Gondorff must improvise to complete their goal.

The Sting debuted in theaters 50 years ago on December 25, 1973. It was directed by George Roy Hill, who had already team with Newman and Redford on the seminal classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It was written by David S. Ward, who was inspired by the exploits of real life con men Fred and Charley Gondorff.

It was a huge hit with critics and audiences, who praised Hill’s stylish directing, Ward’s finely crafted script, and the charming talents of the two leads. The Sting was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Costume Design for Edith Head. In 2005, the movie was chosen for preservation by the US National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.