A runner for the mob gets picked for the weeks take and is taken by a couple of second rate con artists. Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) rob him for about 11,000 dollars. Now Johnny goes and starts spreading some of that money and it gets noticed by people who work for Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Doyle is the big shot and doesn't like to be made to look bad. He puts a hit out on Johnny and Luther and he finds Luther but Johnny heads to Chicago to work for a man by the name of Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman). Now Gondorff was friends with Luther and when Johnny approaches him to help put together a big con against Lonnegan, he accepts. You see Johnny has never done the big con but he is good at what he does.
Johnny has a Joliet detective by the name Snyder (Charles Durning) after him for not paying bribe money he owes. Well he did pay him but it was counterfeit. Snyder just seems to pop up at the wrong times and Johnny just has to run or deal with the abuse.
Anyway, they go for some traveling money so they can nail Lonnegan on the big con. Henry and Johnnie and their friend J.J. Singleton (Ray Walston) go to a poker game that Lonnegan plays. It's aboard a train that brings Lonnegan to Chicago once a month or so. They do take Lonnegan and they sink the hook into him as Henry says he is a big time gambling boss out of Chicago and Lonnegan thinks he is going to take Henry for some money with the help of Johnny.
Henry and his cohorts set up a fake horse racing emporium and want to take the New York Boss for any and all they can get. Luther Coleman was liked by many people and there is not a problem in getting people to help with the con. The rest of the story will be seen when you watch this hilarious movie. This is one of the greats when it comes to film.
Director George Roy Hill has put a classic cast together that works, and audiences love this story. It's a laugh a minute for most and you can't but walk away thinking how much you enjoyed watching it. So Enjoy "the big con".