Monday, June 17, 2013

The Hustler (1961)

Paul Newman Film Fest Movie #4 (Please click the link to read my review of Poolhall Junkies)

Synopsis:  Lowlife alpha males think with their sticks.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: "The masterpiece that propelled Newman to stardom!"

What Did I Learn?: It's easy to pick up alcoholic chicks at the bus station.

You Might Like This Movie If: You dig this groovy song.

Really?: 1) Hold on... Fast Eddie is up $18,000, he's been playing for 25 hours straight, he can barely stand up, and yet he wants to keep playing because Minnesota Fats hasn't said "uncle"? Couldn't he just say: "I'll give you a re-match tomorrow, but I need some sleep"? Who would do that? 2) So, Fast Eddie knows the word is out on him, and Bert Gordon (George C. Scott) even warns him about hustling pool in the wrong joint, but he just HAS to humiliate those hooligans? I could understand that behaviour if Eddie is a punk kid, but I thought he had been around the block a few times.

Rating: The Hustler is generally regarded as one of Newman's best films, and it features fine performances from Piper Laurie, George C. Scott (as a very un-Pattonesque scumbag gambler), Jackie Gleason as the legendary Minnesota Fats, and Mr. Salad Dressing himself. The Hustler is a good movie, but it tends to drag in places, especially when the action focuses on the relationship between Fast Eddie his drunk girlfriend. I kept thinking: "less mush with the lush, more chats with Fats." 8.5/10 stars.

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