We've just finished watching — uncut, unedited, and uninterrupted by commercials, all courtesy of that invaluable cable channel TCM — the 1973 Oscar-winning movie The Sting written by David S. Ward and directed by George Roy Hill starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and even after six or seven previous viewings over the years it remains fresh and a source of unalloyed pleasure. From its intricate, suspenseful, twisty plot, to its brilliantly realized characterizations, to its casting, to its soundtrack (Scott Joplin rags adapted and arranged by the late Marvin Hamlisch), to its costumes, to its cinematography, to its minute attention to detail throughout, it is positively lapidary; a very paragon of the well-made Hollywood movie; an exemplar of the breed. Since the mid-70s we've visited a movie theater only rarely (only three times, to be more precise) and so ask the question: Does Hollywood make such movies anymore, or have 21st-century movie audiences become too sophisticated and/or lost their taste for such intelligent if unserious fare? We honestly don't know, but judging from what eventually makes it to the TV screen from current-day Hollywood we would guess such movies are today considerably out of fashion and would fail to be appreciated. If so, too bad. In a world and era fraught with difficulty and danger, such supremely well-made intelligent if unserious fare is just the ticket if only to provide but a few hours of soul-satisfying escape and relief from the prevailing Zeitgeist.