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Everybody "hustles"-especially in Los Angeles where suicides, strip joints, shootouts, porno movies, the mob and murder combine into a collage. Caught in this web of modern reality is an old fashioned detective (Reynolds). A moralist who still sees the difference between right and wrong, he can hardly reconcile himself to the ugliness of his job. By day he investigates a young girl's suicide, while at night he relaxes with a high-priced Paris call girl (Deneuve).
Among the films that made the '70s an "American Renaissance" decade, Hustle merits a place of honor. As vigorous as the groundbreaking work of such Young Turk contemporaries as Scorsese, Spielberg, and Coppola, its distinction lies in being a throwback to the '50s glory days of its director, Robert Aldrich, when he was making corrosive, Establishment-baiting classics like Attack! and Kiss Me Deadly. The same sardonic spirit, bracing socio-political anger, and bold, hard-edged moviemaking inform this look into the soul of Los Angeles by way of a murder investigation that may not, in fact, have a murder at its core.
Steve Shagan wrote the script, and like his 1973 Save the Tiger, this movie's central character is a burnt-out case with a nostalgia for lost values: an LAPD detective (Burt Reynolds) whose spiritual/ethical touchstones are film-noir Bogart and soft-focus French movies of the '60s. He should have a girlfriend played by Catherine Deneuve--and he does, a Deneuve whose first signs of aging on screen are an evocative element of the film. Her character is a high-class courtesan whose clients include a prominent attorney (Eddie Albert); he also appears to have had some connection with a 20-year-old hooker/druggie whose corpse just washed up on a California beach. Throw in Ben Johnson as the dead girl's seething war-veteran dad, Eileen Brennan as his wife, Paul Winfield and Ernest Borgnine as Reynolds's fellow cops, and you've got one potent ensemble. Reynolds isn't equal to the task of selling some of Shagan's most florid rhetoric (probably no actor would be), but he makes an honorable stab at it. And as an urbane power-broker who can contemplate an assassination while finishing his Cobb salad, the late Eddie Albert is chilling, just chilling. --Richard T. Jameson
Tired old Burt Reynolds tale of a retired CIA operative who still has some killing left in him. Another 2 hours of my life I have lost and cannot get back. Read morePublished 2 months ago by DrSparx
Starts out very weak. Burt Reynolds is great as usual (see Shamus (1973) Fuzz (1972)), but the script doesn't give him any 'edge'. Read more
The condition of this movie is okay when you consider that it is an old movie.Published 9 months ago by Retirerich#
Time is kind to some films. This ain't one of them. A huge flop on initial release that has found its way into the pantheon on modern noir, this stinkhole is bad no matter what... Read morePublished 17 months ago by James Williams
THIS IS BURT RYNOLDS BEST MOVIE EVER.YOU SAW ALL SIDES OF HIM IN THIS MOVIW.IT IS A GREAT MOVIE AND HE NEVER COULD NEVER TOP. IT BUY IT AND SEE FOR YOURSELF.Published on May 19, 2012 by LARRY E. MCDONALD SR.
Slow, murky and joyless, Hustle has little to recommend it.
Burt Reynolds and Paul Winfield are dull as dishwater (dirty dishwater just about sums this movie up) and the... Read more