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Hustle (1975)

Burt Reynolds , Catherine Deneuve , Robert Aldrich  |  R |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Reynolds, Catherine Deneuve, Ben Johnson, Paul Winfield, Eileen Brennan
  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 21, 2005
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008KLVC8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,613 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hustle" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real hustle January 8, 2011
Hustle' stars Burt Reynolds in his post deliverance prime along with a great supporting cast, not least Catherine Deneuve who plays his girlfriend by choice and hooker by profession. Reynolds is a jaded detective who investigates the death of a poor man's daughter whose father played by a bemused Ben Johnson seeks truth and justice in an uncaring world. Along the way the outwardly traditional detective/murder plot and Reynolds unconventional professional and personal relationships, morph into a parallel critique of crime and corruption in contemporary USA society. `Hustle' has the classic hallmarks of Robert Aldrich's direction and was panned by critics on its release in the mid 1970s. `Hustle' nevertheless remains a convincing study in human relationships and a conventional/unconventional genre stretching movie ahead of its time. A 5 star movie with deserved cult status and a must see for a good night in.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Despite efforts, Hustle falls short June 2, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Hustle is an attempt at the film noir of the 1940s. A clean shaven (and tougher looking) Burt Reynolds is a streetwise L.A. detective with a problem. He's fighting crime while committing somewhat of a crime himself: his girlfriend is a hooker (played by the venerable Catherine Deneueve). What a premise! Perfect for film noir...but. But the entire idea wasn't thought out enough to achieve its goals. First off, film noir is visually darker, slicker. Hustle's locale should have been New York(even Seattle, if you want to stay on the left coast)--someplace with stints of bad, dreary weather. But L.A.? Director Aldrich had to stretch it by actually putting in several rainy, night sequences. Second, film noir is supposed to have an sense of mystery about it. Hustle (despite a cast of several Oscar winners) has all the awe and mystery of an episode of Starsky and Hutch. Last, film noir dialog is gritty, memorable. Hustle's dialog is too gritty--more filthy than gritty. It's full of too many sexual inuendoes that are memorable but unrepeatable. Despite its efforts, Hustle falls way short of classic noir. It's instead mired somewhere in that muttled gray mess of bad 70's cinema.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Everybody Hustles." July 25, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
One of the last 5 films by director Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly, Apache, The Dirty Dozen) and starring pre-moustache/Bandit Burt Reynolds (who also starred in Aldrich's previous film, "The Longest Yard") as Phil Gaines, a L.A. cop who would rather be living in the 1930s when life was cleaner. Ironically, he is in love with a prostitute (Catherine Deneuve). They have dreams of going away and starting a new life together, but never make it. The other side of the story concerns Gaines' case of Gloria, a teenage girl found dead on the beach and the Father refuses to believe that she committed suicide. His reckless investigation and obsession with revenge on his daughter's "killer" ends in the murder of an important, yet crooked and slimy attorney, Leo Sellers (Eddie Albert). Also co-starring is Ernest Borgnine as Santori, Gaines' boss, but he doesent quite seem on the "up & up". "Hustle" is not that bad, although it's also not spectacular. It is a pessimistic film, like a modern film noir, that in the hands of any other director or actors would probably not have had much significance. Many elements, especially the vulgar language and the drugs/porno theme (common in the 1970s) are what help this to get lost within the slew of 70s exploitation films. I would probably not have seen it if it were not for taking a film course where the focus was on the films of Robert Aldrich. As of yet, the film is not available on DVD and you're lucky if you can even rent the VHS, let alone own it. Still worth a look for fans of Aldrich, Reynolds (before "the bandit") and 70s cop or exploitation film.
*Look for Robert Englund (Freddy Kreuger) who shoots Burt Reynolds during the store robbery.
*Look for Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke) as Peggy, a porn actress and former roommate of Gloria
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What might have been...or not. June 22, 2005
By Midge
Those born in the Reagan years may not realize that for a brief shining moment in the late 1970s, Burt Reynolds was the most popular movie star on the planet. Just prior to that, in 1975, he made this movie, and gives a creditable, serious and even moving performance.

If he had not grown the mustache and played up the good old boy shtick and annoying high pitched laugh, he may not have been Numero Uno for those couple of years, but he might have been taken more seriously and made better movies.

Perhaps not. This is the man who was first choice to play the Jack Nicholson part in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT and opted to do STROKER ACE instead.

In any event, this is a good example of gritty, bleak 1970s movie making, when mainstream Hollywood flicks could be dark and even have an unhappy ending. In 1976 ROCKY came along and changed all that.

A little dated, and a less than crisp DVD transfer, but worth checking out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HUSTLE bags basic, blackened spirit of noir May 19, 2012
"Sometimes you can't tell the Christians from the lions." It is an offhand metaphor spoken by Burt Reynolds's cop character Phil Gaines. But it describes perfectly the plot of the Robert Aldrich film noir Hustle.

The setting is 1970's SoCal--primarily L.A. . And Reynolds plays burned-out LAPD lieutenant Phil Gaines, who finds comfort in reminiscing about the 'cleaner' culture of the 1930s. Another of Gaines's comforts--and a growing conflict of interest--is his girlfriend, Nicole: a high class, French call-girl (played by the venerable Catherine Deneuve). Phil's and Nicole's shared dream is to "wake-up somewhere else", preferrably in Italy (another of Gaines's comforts). However, the suspicious death of a stripper forces Gaines into a half-hearted murder investigation that threatens to destroy his relationship with Nicole.

This is one of Burt Reynolds's best acting performances. The good ole boy humor and race car camp he has become famous for hadn't set in yet. And his role as Gaines showcases a range of talent that shifts from passion towards Nicole to indifference about his job believably. Reynolds makes Gaines into a fairly good anti-hero. In one of her few American films, Catherine Deneuve does okay as Burt's love/conflict of interest Nicole Britton. Though her flawless beauty throughout detracts from the seedy nature most films noir angle for.

Still, Hustle captures the basic spirit of films noir: that is, everyone and everything is, to a degree, tainted and filled with irony. There's the deceptive Sunset Boulevard scenery of much of the movie that while beautiful, fronts for strip bars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Burt. Burt rules.

Burt rules.
Published 3 days ago by ATX
1.0 out of 5 stars Hustle...... away!
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 more
Published 6 months ago by James Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars HUSTLE
Published on May 19, 2012 by LARRY E. MCDONALD SR.
2.0 out of 5 stars A real con job
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
Published on May 4, 2011 by Zee Jai
4.0 out of 5 stars Good noir that should have been even better
A good movie that could have been a great movie if Burt Reynolds was a better actor.

It's dark, bitter noir, abut cop in love with high priced call girl. Read more
Published on June 13, 2010 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Aldrich strikes again!
"Hustle" represents perhaps the bleakest Noir of the seventies. The remarkable and talented Robert Aldrich (Kiss me deadly)directed this emblematic film filled of satirical... Read more
Published on October 1, 2009 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
2.0 out of 5 stars Watching this movie reminds one of how bad an actor Burt really is/was
Would you believe there was time I thought Burt Reynolds was a good actor (Sharkey's Machine)? But even in "Deliverance" I didn't think he was that great. Read more
Published on August 25, 2008 by Pat Nava
3.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN SOME.......NOT AS GOOD AS OTHERS.
HUSTLE is better than some other Burt Reynolds movies, while not as good as others. The film is a very good film, however, a problem arises in that the subject matter is very... Read more
Published on August 13, 2008 by Kay's Husband
2.0 out of 5 stars Busted
An L.A. cop and a murder victim's father struggle with their realization that all women are prostitutes in this washed-out DVD of a middling 70s thriller. Read more
Published on June 8, 2008 by EddieLove
3.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad and the indifferent
At times it's hard to know quite what to make of Hustle. There's certainly a good film in there, but there's also a bad one as well and Robert Aldrich doesn't make the two into... Read more
Published on March 12, 2007 by Trevor Willsmer
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