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Hustler

1 rating: 5.0
A movie directed by Robert Rossen

An arrogant and amoral hustler haunts pool rooms to get a crack at bringing down Minnesota Fats. When he starts to have real feelings for a woman, he's faced with a dilemma. See THE COLOR OF MONEY, an excellent sequel made 25 years later, for which Newman … see full wiki

Tags: Movies, Dramas
Director: Robert Rossen
Release Date: 1961
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Hustler

Hustler - RACK 'EM UP

  • Apr 26, 2001
Rating:
+5
Pros: Great performance, great story

Cons: .......

The Bottom Line: A fantastic movie showing you that sometimes it isn't the game and sometimes it isn't the win. It is all about dedication to yourself and your goals

Quite a cast of characters - Paul Newman, ‘Fast' Eddie Felson; Jackie Gleason, Minnesota Fats; Piper Laurie, Sarah; George C. Scott, Bert Gordon; Jake LaMotta, bartender; Vincent Gardenia, bartender; Myron McCormick, Charlie Burns. Another great black and white movie ..... at the time I always considered B&W to be boring after the release of "COLOR", but in reflection I now find them just a little more edgier and the scenes a little more harsh and believable. Oh I still love color (wow! What Dreams May Come - fantastic color there) but some movies should just be black and white.

Fast Eddie is a pool shark and in his opinion, the best there is, until he meets up with Minnesota Fats. He travels around to pool halls, running his shill, setting the guys up by losing over and over again until the stakes are high enough, then he swoops in for the kill. Heading for a historic pool hall in New York, the base for Minnesota Fats, he moves in for a game with the great one.

Fats is backed financially by Gordon, always sitting on the sidelines appearing calm and collected. Eddie plays an incredible game of pool, lasting through most of the night, always winning game after game, feeling just a little cocky and full of himself. Fats suddenly takes the table - fresh, clean, sober - and that table takes a turn! Even though they have been at it for hours, he approaches this game with his famous line "Let's play some pool" and you pretty much know Eddie is about to get the old pool stick right up the fanny.

Eddie indulges in a little too much liquor, while Fats remains cool - winning the game and leaving triumphant. Eddie, devastated, penniless, leaves the pool hall and runs into Sarah at a restaurant. Somewhat of an alcoholic herself, she has a jaded look on life. Not something Eddie needs right now. Nevertheless, they end up together

Eddie goes back to his small time hustle, always looking for that big break. Unfortunately he hustles the wrong guy and gets the bejesus beaten out of him. After recovering he contacts Gordon to join his team of hustlers and everyone converges on Louisville and the Kentucky Derby. Without giving more away, I will say that things do not go well and eventually Eddie ends up back in New York facing Fats again, thoroughly and completely skunking him! A great role reversal here - Eddie remains the clean, cool, sober one and Fats the sweating, messed up sparing partner.

A fantastic movie showing you that sometimes it isn't the game and sometimes it isn't the win. It is all about dedication to yourself and your goals, no matter what they are. George C. Scott plays a nasty, evil man in this story. Newman and Gleason are wonderful in their roles. Newman, always a champion of the underdogs gives you a guy to stand behind and Gleason, with one look can freeze you in your spot. Piper Laurie, although playing a pitiful and wounded creature in this movie still sends off loads of steam, and with the exception of Carrie this may be her best movie.

Although nominated for many Academy Awards, it won only two. All the major players were nominated in their roles, and indeed, Newman should have won but did not. Strangely enough, years later he did win in a sequel to this movie, The Color of Money

Recommended:
Yes

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