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3.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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(Jun 21, 2005)
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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

Special Features


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.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 21, 2005
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008KLVC8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,889 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hustle" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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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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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
"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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