on July 4, 2002
The Hustler spotlights one of Paul Newman's finest performances in his portrayal of Fast Eddie Felson, an arrogant, amoral pool hustler who's determined to be the greatest pool player in the country by beating the legendary Minnesota Fats (played flawlessly by Jackie Gleason).
The film is a gritty, uncompromising character study and tragic love story that is set in the world of pool hustlers. Piper Laurie; as an alcoholic floozy who falls hard for Fast Eddie; and George C. Scott as the cold hearted manipulative gambler, Bert Gordon,-- contribute two additional flawless supporting performances. It was directed by the controversial Robert (All the King's Men) Rossen (he resisted but eventually named names during the infamous blacklist of the 50's).
The film focuses on the arrogant, unsympathetic exploits of a con man as he uses his charm, looks and pool playing skills to hustle enough money to challenge Minnesota Fats, only to be humiliated in defeat. As 'Fast Eddie' attempts to raise money for a re-match, he meets and almost falls in love with Sarah a fellow alcoholic. At first Fast Eddie refuses to be managed by Bert Gordon, but after a pool hall hustle ends up with Fast Eddie having his thumbs broken, he reconsiders. Before the re-match with Minnesota Fats, a warm up high stakes game in Louisville has tragic consequences.
The film dares to focus on a-typical anti-hero characters who live by amoral codes. Very little Hollywood style gloss is to be found anywhere in this stylistic gritty masterpiece which wound up being nominated for 10 Academy Awards (West Side Story won most of them that year). Cinematographer Eugene Shufftan deservedly won an Oscar for his moodily lit, beautiful black and white images. Harry Horner's and Gene Callahan's intricately art direction, production design and set decoration were also awarded with Oscars. Pool legend Willie Mosconi taught Newman how to look and act the part of a pool hustler and also made Newman's trick shots in the film. Jackie Gleason was already an excellent pool player. There really was an Aames pool hall in New York City and it is used for the film's most riveting scenes. Boxer Jake LaMotta (of 'Raging Bull' fame) plays a bartender in the film.
Director Rossen who began his career as a screenwriter made only one other film (1964's Lilith) after 'The Hustler'. Rossen died in 1966. Martin Scorcese directed the 1986 sequel Color of Money, with Newman reprising his Fast Eddie role (and this time Newman won a best Actor Oscar for his efforts) as he teaches an up and coming hustler (Tom Cruise) the ropes. The sequel doesn't come close to being as good as the original (despite its stylistic flourishes, cast and director).
Interesting to note that the characters in The Hustler were fictitious and an above average pool player legally changed his name to Minnesota Fats AFTER the film was released. The real life 'Minnesota Fats' eventually played a nationally televised (hosted by Howard Cosell) pool exhibition with William Mosconi in the 1970's more than 10 years after this 1961 film.
DVD IMAGE AND SOUND
The film has been digitally re-mastered in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The films looks to be in excellent shape with very little print damage observed. The look of the film is smoky and gritty and the shadow details are rich indicating strong black levels present. This is a very sharp looking black and white film. The sound will not impress but the dialogue, sound effects and occasional music is crisp and usually centered..
In addition to two trailers for the film, there are a few interesting featurettes some production stills and the superb commentary track.
Richard Schickel hosts the too short documentary The Hustler: The Inside Story which gives us some details on how the film came to be made, and delivers some we were there stories from some of the film-makers and a few surprise guests.
"How to Make the Shot," and "Trick Shot Analysis by World Artistic Champion, Mike Massey"
are two shorts demonstrating and showing viewers how to make some trick shots on the pool table.
There is a superb commentary track which features the reminisces, and perspectives from actors: Paul Newman, and Stefan Gierash (Preacher), Dede Allen (film editor), Ulu Grosbard (assistant director), Carol Rossen (the director's daughter), Richard Schickel (film critic, Time), and Jeff Young (film historian). The comments cover all aspects of the making of the film. Newman's comments as one might expect are few.
The film looks and sounds great, the extras compliment the classic film very well. Along with Hud, and Nobody's Fool, The Hustler has, what for me, is one of the three best Newman performances on film. Considering the supporting cast are superb, there's little for anyone to fault with this film.
Christopher J. Jarmick, is the author of The Glass Cocoon with Serena F. Holder a critically acclaimed, steamy suspense thriller...
on December 25, 1999
Many people who saw the slick and stylish Scorcese creation Color of Money didn't even realize that Eddie Felson already existed on the silver screen in The Hustler. What many people tell me when they find out and see The Hustler is that either they hated it or loved it. That's because while Color of Money is smooth, slick, smooth, and polished, The Hustler is raw, biting, and powerful and so by definition it is not for everyone. Color of Money is more about visual effects and music, which is classic Scorcese, though there's no real substance. Scorcese himself has said in interviews that movies like Goodfellas were close to his heart, but Color of Money was just a commercialized creation.
The Hustler, on the other hand, really grabs you. First off, as a pool player myself, let me tell you Tom Cruise can't play pool worth a damn, and that lack of authenticity is a glaring weakness to begin with. But just the fact that Newman and Gleason can play pool does not make The Hustler a better movie - it's a masterpiece because it is a gripping tale of human redepmption, of Eddie's battle to separate his pool game from his self-esteem. It's also about one man's passion for the game. How can any pool player forget that soliloquoy by Fast Eddie when he and Sarah go for that picnic, how he talks about how he loves even just the sound of the click of the balls, how the cue has nerves in it and is part of his arm!
Remember that last scene in Color of Money, where young cocky Vincent plays the older, cagier Fast Eddie and Eddie declares "I'm back" before he breaks the balls? Even though the movie ends there, everyone knows Eddie wiped up the floor with Vincent. Vincent's character had talent, but Eddie had character, and that's what beat Fast Eddie time he played Fats.
Bert Gordon: You got talent.
Fast Eddie: I got talent? So what beat me?
And that's the way the two movies are too. Color of Money has talent, but The Hustler has character.
Let's face it, what can I possibly say about Robert Rossen's exquisitely hard-edged classic that hasn't been said before? "The Hustler" is an astounding and uncompromising drama that seems as fresh today as it did 45 years ago. So often we'll look back at the classics--and, as is appropriate, they might seem dated. Times change and that is reflected in cinema. "The Hustler," though, is one of the rare films that was so sophisticated, so intelligent, and so honestly raw--that its power has not been diminished by the years. Set in a very unglamorous world of pool halls and back rooms, "The Hustler" is a testosterone fueled excursion into the life and pursuits of one of Hollywood's most notorious anti-heroes--Fast Eddie Felson. Nominated for eight Oscars, this refreshingly adult film cemented Paul Newman's status as one of our greatest actors.
The story of "The Hustler" is surprisingly simplistic. A brash young pool shark sets his sights on defeating one of the game's greatest players--Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason, at his best). But getting up on Fats isn't enough--no, he wants to crush his opponent. Eddie's naked and uncompromising drive eventually becomes his undoing as his winning streak turns to defeat. Despondent and broke, Eddie aligns with an equally desperate love interest. Sarah, played by Piper Laurie (never better), is a bitter alcoholic who has given up on life. But her complicated romance with Eddie seems to hint at the possibility of new hope. Eddie, however, can't change his spots overnight and an encounter with an unscrupulous manager (George C. Scott) just might get Eddie a second chance at Fats. For good or for bad, it seems Eddie is destined to go down that road again.
Paul Newman imbues Eddie with much cockiness, bravado, arrogance, ambition, and even desperation. In my opinion, it is Newman's best and most multi-layered performance. This (along with "Hud") celebrated Newman as a new type of leading man--someone you could like and despise at once. Morally questionable, perhaps even amoral at times, Newman was not afraid to be despicable. While only Oscar nominated for this film, ironically he won roughly 25 years later for reprising Eddie for "The Color of Money." Laurie, Scott, and Gleason all picked up Oscar nods as well. The film is impeccably acted and beautifully filmed. Not just for those with an interest in pool, "The Hustler" is a searing drama that stands as a deft character study of a man figuring out what is important after all.
While the Collector's Edition seems to be handsomely packaged as a two disc set, whether or not it's worth the upgrade from the Special Edition seems a bit suspect. Both have widescreen presentation, commentary from Newman and "Time" film critic Richard Schickel (among others), and features on "How to Make The Shot" and "The Hustler: The Inside Story." This new addition adds four featurettes--"Life in the Fast Lane: Fast Eddie Felson and The Search for Greatness," "Milestones in Cinema History: The Making of The Hustler," "Swimming with Sharks: The Art of the Hustle," and "Paul Newman: Hollywood's Cool Hand." So it's a judgment call whether or not you feel these extra shorts will add to your viewing experience. If you don't own the film, then it's a no-brainer! Either way, "The Hustler" is a true classic. One of Newman's best (if not best) performances make this gritty and timeless drama a must own DVD. KGHarris, 04/07.
on May 15, 2011
The Hustler (drama, romance, sport)
Directed by Robert Rossen
Starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie and George C. Scott
20th Century Fox | 1961 | 134 min | Rated R | Released May 17, 2011
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.34:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: DTS 5.1
German: DTS 5.1
Portuguese: DTS 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc (digibook)
The Hustler was nominated for nine Oscars, winning for cinematography and art direction for a black and white film. The four main actors deservedly received nominations, although George C. Scott refused his. It was the second nomination for Newman, the first of three for Piper Laurie and Jackie Gleason's only nomination. The film deserved the recognition, but West Side Story ended up with 10 Oscars that year. Newman received an honorary Oscar in 1986 and won a best supporting actor Oscar a year later when he reprised the role of Eddie Felson in The Color of Money.
The film is quite complex. Although a sports movie on the surface, there's a strong romantic element. The story is essentially about strength of character. What would you do to get what you want in life? What if it means hurting people close to you? Is the goal worth the sacrifices? And, most important of all, how do we define success?
Newman was an emerging force in 1961, but his popularity hadn't reached its peak. His portrayal of Eddie Felson was convincing. He only took the role because another movie he had committed to fell through.
Felson begins the story as a pool player who is building his reputation. He wants to take on the best and prove that he's the better player. There are definite similarities between Felson's place in the pool world and Newman's status in the acting world at the time. Both were looking to make a name for themselves.
We learn in the opening scenes that Felson is a hustler. While playing a game with Charlie, his manager, he deliberately misses shots he could make. He also pretends to be drunk. The people watching are fooled and he wins $105 by betting that he can make a difficult shot and pulling it off. Then he leaves with Charlie and they look for victims in another town. This is Felson's life. He makes a living conning people who don't know that he has real ability.
Felson isn't satisfied and dreams of making $10,000 in one night. In order to reach his lofty goal, he plans to play the best pool player in the country, Minnesota Fats (Gleason). Fats hasn't lost a game for 15 years and has heard of Felson. He agrees to the game.
The stakes begin at $200 and quickly build to $1,000 per game. Felson is cocky and talks a good game, but also backs it up with good play. He's soon ahead by over $11,000 and Charlie wants him to quit, but Felson says he'll play until Fats says the game is over. He doesn't just want to win, he's looking to humiliate Fats and break his spirit. After 12 hours, Felson is ahead $18,000, but still insists on continuing the game.
You can see where the story is heading. Fats freshens up, washes his hands and puts powder on them. Felson teases him on how beautiful he looks. Fats starts winning and Felson keeps drinking. He eventually loses everything apart from $200. Who was hustling whom?
The pace of the film changes after the initial meeting with Fats. Felson doesn't have the necessary stake money for another game. He meets Sarah Packard (Laurie) and eventually moves in with her. She has a limp from having polio as a child and enjoys drinking even more than Felson. The two are a good match and each has flaws.
Charlie visits and we learn that he has $1,500 which was his cut of Felson's previous pool winnings. Felson is angry and decides to cut Charlie out of his life. Sarah wonders if she's next. This part of the film moves a little slowly and some viewers may lose interest, but I felt it worked and was essential to give the film depth and additional meaning.
The pace picks up when Felson meets Bert Gordon (Scott) who is Fats' manager and witnessed the first game between the two. Bert says that Fats was on the hook for the first time in 10 years, but Felson let him off. He calls Felson a born loser, but a loser with talent. He wants to be his manager and demands 75 percent of any winnings. He also issues a warning that Felson could get hurt if he wanders into the wrong pool hall and they realize that he's hustling.
After learning a few life lessons, Felson takes Bert up on his offer. He takes Sarah for a meal and she comments that it's the first time she's seen him wear a tie. It's a sign that he is willing to change. The two go on the road with Bert and Felson plays billiards for big stakes. Billiards isn't his game of choice; he prefers pool. Felson loses initially, but something in his demeanor convinces Bert to continue staking him. He eventually wins enough for another showdown with Fats.
The final 10 minutes of the film show the second game between the two. Felson has changed since the first meeting and life has toughened him up. He's still brash, but won't take a drink while he's playing. I won't reveal who wins, but the film reflects on how we define winning and success in life.
The film has an authentic feel. The pool rooms are dark, seedy and potentially dangerous places. They match the gritty feel of the film. The pool scenes were shot in real pool halls rather than on a set. The only thing that wasn't convincing is the way the actors held a cue in a few shots. A professional player wouldn't have his head so far away from the cue and certainly wouldn't wear a jacket in case it touched another ball and caused a foul shot. But the actors did a good job and both performed most of their shots. The remainder were performed by former billiards world champion Willie Mosconi.
Video Quality 4.5/5
The Hustler looks great in this 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition. There's light grain throughout, but it's never overwhelming. Much of the footage was shot in dark pool halls, but still looks good. The image is clean and free of dirt and print damage. There's plenty of detail and the black and white image matches the mood of the film.
Audio Quality 4/5
The lossless English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix isn't perfect, but offers a considerable upgrade over previous releases. The balls enter the pockets with a resounding thump and the score sounds good. Where it loses a point is in the dialogue as it doesn't sound completely natural. The original mix is also included as well as 5.1 mixes in four other languages.
Special Features 5/5
This package includes a number of features looking back on the film, as well as a couple of segments devoted to Newman's career. They are well worth a look.
Audio commentary by Paul Newman, Carol Rossen, Dede Allen, Stefan Gierasch, Ulu Grosbard, Richard Schickel and Jeff Young
Paul Newman at Fox (27:11)
Jackie Gleason: The Big Man (12:04)
The Real Hustler: Walter Tevis (18:55)
Life in the Fast Lane: Fast Eddie Felson and the Search for Greatness (11:49)
Milestones in Cinema History: The Hustler (28:04)
Swimming with Sharks: The Art of the Hustle (9:38)
The Hustler: The Inside Story (24:32)
Paul Newman: Hollywood's Cool Hand (43:44)
Trick Shot Analysis by Mike Massey (13:51)
How to Make the Shot with Mike Massey (3:41)
US and Spanish theatrical trailers
The digibook package looks beautiful and the pages contain high quality photographs. The only slight reservation I have is that the disc isn't held in place by a spindle, it just slides into a slot.
The Hustler is a character-driven drama with a strong romantic element. It should appeal to a wide variety of people and is one of Newman's best roles. He's surrounded by a quality supporting cast. If you are a fan of Newman or character pieces in general, this 50th anniversary presentation is an essential purchase. If you like the film, check out The Color of Money (1986) to find out what the future holds for Felson.
Overall score 4.5/5
on September 16, 2013
The Hustler is a widely acclaimed film with an all-star cast. It won 2 of its 9 Oscar nominations,with all four of its 4 principal actors, Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, and Piper Laurie each receiving nominations for their acting performances. Although it was one of Newman's early roles, it wasn't his first. He had already made the A-list in 1956 playing Rocky Graziano in "Somebody Up There Likes Me," reaffirming his star power and popularity in 1958 as the male lead opposite Elizabeth Taylor in "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." Jackie Gleason, was best known at the time as a comedian, variety show host, and creator of the "Honeymooners" TV comedy, starring in its lead role. In a completely non-comedic role, he plays Minnesota Fatst, a pool hustler widely acclaimed as the best in the country. It shows an entirely different aspect of Gleason's acting ability. Fast Eddie (Newman) has become obsessed with beating Minnesota Fats in a match. Tension among the characters steadily builds, particularly among Newman, Laurie and Scott, to the very end. Shot in B&W with which the director, Rossen, was more comfortable and accustomed to than color, it is entirely appropriate for the gritty and grimy old pool hall settings that comprise most of the film. While The Hustler may be classed by some as a "pool film" and it certainly increased the popularity of pool when originally released, it's not about pool or pool sharks. The game and its hustlers are only the vehicle for Fast Eddie attempting to find himself and salvation with Sara (Piper Laurie) who was slightly crippled by polio as a child, but she's not the only one flawed. The other three are flawed, being driven by their own character crippling demons. The film was unique and shocking in 1961 with its emotional intensity. It will seem tamer now, but maintains a compelling, gut wrenching outcome at the end, and that is the film's timeless power.
Blu-ray transfer has excellent grayscale with good contrast and is clean. Grain is present but handled well without sacrificing detail. The audio is limited by its original monaural source of low fidelity monaural source of low fidelity by today's standards. It has been reworked to 5.1, but the low fidelity shows with the opening Fox theme and logo. There is a 2.0 option if desired but it does not improve the overall fidelity. There's only so much that can be done with the original soundtrack.
on March 7, 2012
Please describe the audio and video quality of any Blu-Ray you review. Thanks to those who do this.
Aspect Ratio: approximately 2.35:1 (it looked more like 2.30:1).
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Good.
Video: Black and white. Very good.
Length: 2 hours 15 minutes.
Overall, a good Blu-Ray purchase.
on June 13, 2007
The Hustler is a crucial film in Paul Newman's career. It launched him into the Hollywood stratosphere and marked the beginning of an incredible run in the 1960s, with movies like Hud, Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Newman became a movie star but acted like a character actor, creating one memorable character after another. Arguably, The Hustler is where he really came into his own, delivering a powerful performance as small-time pool hustler Fast Eddie Felson.
The first disc includes an audio commentary by actor Paul Newman, daughter of director Robert Rossen, Carol Rossen, editor Dede Allen, actor Stefan Gierasch (who played Preacher), assistant director Ulu Grosbard, film critic Richard Schickel, and writer/producer Jeff Young. Allen says that they shot and edited the film in New York City which the studio did not like because they wanted to keep closer tabs on the production. Rossen says that before her father optioned the book, Frank Sinatra wanted to adapt it but couldn't figure out a way to do it. Gierasch and Newman talk about how they were cast and recall filming anecdotes. Each participant is interviewed separately and then edited together in this decent track.
"Trick Shot Analysis" allows you to watch the film with pool expert Mike Massey analyzing five pool sequences or on their own. He tends to describe what we're watching but does explain some of the tactics on display in the movie.
New to this edition are three retrospective featurettes. "Life in the Fast Lane: Fast Eddie Felson and the Search for Greatness" includes new interviews with Newman, Laurie, Dede Allen and others. Newman speaks passionately about the film and tells an amusing story about researching his role.
"Milestones in Cinema History: The Hustler" examines the film's legacy. Newman admired Rossen for allowing them to experiment in the moment. He also recounts a story about how he got hustled by Gleason.
"Swimming with Sharks: The Art of the Hustle" explores the gambling aspect as well as the con aspect of the film. A pool champ demonstrates some impressive trick shots and defines some key lingo of the sport.
Carried over from the previous DVD edition is "The Hustler: The Inside Story," a retrospective featurette that provides a historical context and how Rossen wanted to comment on society with this film. It also explores the film's origins, casting and various aspects.
"Paul Newman: Hollywood's Cool Hand" is an A&E biography episode on the actor that examines his life and career with many of his contemporaries talking about him.
"How to Make a Shot" repeats the "Trick Shot Analysis" extra on the first disc.
Also included are trailers for eight of Newman's films and two trailers for The Hustler.
Finally, there is a "Still Gallery" with a collection of behind-the-scene photographs, promotional stills and ad campaign material.
on September 5, 2014
Over the years I've watched eighty eight movies on the original list of the AFI Top 100 Movies of all-time and of those eighty eight movies there are about four or five films I would drop. Of the list of the AFI Tenth Year Anniversary Top 100 I've seen eighty three movies and though I was pleased to see "The Shawshank Redemption" was added to the group I was disappointed to find the AFI dropped both "Fargo" and "Rebel Without a Cause". Of that list I would drop about seven or eight of the newly listed films as well. As the original four to five films I'd drop still remained on the new list this makes a total of eleven to thirteen spots that, in my opinion could be filled by better American films.
If I'm being honest most of the more intelligent movies these days do not come out of America. A lot of them come out of Europe. Take for instance recent gems "The Lives of Others", "Head On" and "Revanche" to name a few which are far superior to such embarrassing Oscar winners as "Juno", "Little Miss Sunshine" and the insipid and idiotic "Her". But back in 1961 at the start of a great boom in American cinema that would run up through the end of 1976, a timeless film came into being that any country and any generation could be proud of. It was based on Walter Tevis' first novel of the same name and it was called "The Hustler".
The best description of the film I've ever come across is "A Greek Tragedy played out in pool halls". And that is precisely what it is. Shot in stark and glorious black and white the story tells a tale about the quest to be a winner and the price one must pay to achieve such a goal. The argument of the story or the premise if you will is "In order to win one must have character". The definition of both what it is to win and what denotes character is argued throughout the script. Eddie, the lead character, thinks winning equates with money and beating the best pool player around; Minnesota Fats whom he loses to in the first act and hungers to beat passionately from that point on. The villain Bert Gordon, who becomes Eddie's new manager, claims everyone has talent but not necessarily character and also believes winning equates with wealth but also that with wealth comes power. But the voice of reason in the story encompassed by Eddie's intelligent polio stricken alcoholic writer girlfriend Sarah Packard argues differently saying because Eddie possesses both a wealth of talent and an uncommon passionate love for the game he is a winner already. And with this the battle lines are drawn.
The names of the characters in the story are paramount. Sarah brings this to light in an early scene where she is sitting in a bar with Eddie whom she has just met. She asks him if he wants to know what the name Sarah means and there is reason for this. The name "Sarah" means "Princess". Her last name "Packard" means "one who packs" which she finds herself having to do in order to keep Eddie. The name Burt means "Illustrious" with his last name Gordon meaning "Large Fortification". The name Eddie means "Wealthy Guard" and his surname Felson may allude to the translation "fallen son". Each name says something about the characters that may on the surface seem less than what they are as they dwell in the seedy and smoky world they inhabit. But do not be fooled. As Sarah points out Eddie is wealthy already. He's a talented winner who has already won her heart and doesn't need to beat Minnesota Fats to prove himself. But Burt, who has money but does not possess talent, passion or princess, is the devil on Eddie's shoulder urging him on to play Minnesota Fats again...and hustle some wealthy billiards players on the way as a means to use Eddie to line his pockets and feed his ego in his own twisted quest to be a winner.
Eddie's drive to beat Minnesota Fats in a rematch makes him desperate and blind to Bert's manipulations. Bert's jealousy of Eddie's talent and the egotistical thrill of using him to make money are threatened by Sarah's intelligence and ability to see through his schemes and he fights to get rid of her. Sarah's insecurities about her deformity and her love for Eddie make her vulnerable despite her insightful ability to see through the haze and distinguish the truth about each of the men. This volatile combination needs amongst the three characters builds a tension that grows mesmerizingly until it reaches its explosive and unforgettable conclusion.
This is an extraordinary film with standout performances all around. Jackie Gleason is perfectly cast as the cool headed pool champion Minnesota Fats. George C. Scott is excellent as a sleazy business man who as Sarah's character marvelously points out is a Roman who has to have it all. Piper Laurie plays Sarah with a convincing pitch perfect balance of brains, strength and fragility. And in one of his best if not his very best performance Paul Newman plays Fast Eddie brilliantly showing us all the power and fissures in this engaging and tragically flawed man. The directing is spot on bringing us straight into a seedy underground of early 1960's pool halls filled with desperation and the struggle for triumph. And the writing is top notch with its complex layers drawing us into its characters and its themes which keep us riveted from beginning to end.
It still shocks me even now that "The Hustler" did not make the AFI Top One Hundred. The movie is a brilliant timeless testament to America's obsession with winning. Possibly the best ever. All one needs to do is turn on a television set where from sports to reality shows to awards shows we can how relevant it's premise remains to this day. Of all the great American films ever made, "The Hustler" may just be the most overlooked masterpiece of them all.
on March 18, 2015
A famous motion picture with big stars that I had never seen. I was expecting a better movie. Slow moving and long. Two hours and 14 minutes could easily have been edited down to 90-100 minutes. It kept me watching until the end, but I was a little disappointed given my high expectations.
on November 19, 1999
Despite the fact The Hustler may initially appear to be a mere documentary of the dark pool halls of America, the performance of Newman renders it universal. As Fast Eddie Feltzen, Newman captivates the audience and commands the screen, even outshining George C. Scott. Newman does not turn in a display of arrogance; his character seems blessed by providence, assured to succeed regardless of the obstacles in his way. Newman's performance is not all bravado however; when entering into a "contract of depravity", he lashes out and shows the need to discover prudence; his youthful exuberance will only take him so far. The Hustler - shot in starkly conrasting black and white - is a film that pervades grit and atmosphere; like Rebel Without a Cause,it serves to show the assuredness of youth, the eventual triumph of passion. It truly is an American classic.