Sunday, September 8, 2013

380. The Hustler

The Hustler
Directed by Robert Rossen

This is a film that my family has loved for a long time.  We actually had posters of this film right next to our pool table in the house that I grew up in.  I suppose we believed that that would make us as cool as Paul Newman when we played pool.  It didn't.

Paul Newman plays Fast Eddie Felson, a pool hustler who is determined to beat Minnesota Fats (god I love these names).  Along the way, he meets Sarah, a girl who has some, um, issues.

This is a fantastic gritty film that will make anyone who watches want to go out and buy a pool stick.  This could have easily been an extremely dull movie; I mean 134 minutes of pool playing could have gotten old fast.  Paul Newman manages to keep his character real and interesting throughout the duration of the film.  I don't know if it is his innate awesomeness or the great chemistry he had with the others actors but the result was fantastic.

As for Sarah, I can't talk too much about her without giving too much away.  Suffice to say, you don't see a lot of characters like her.

My favorite Paul Newman movie by far.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

All of the pool shots except for one were shot by the actors.

One of the few early Hollywood movies to have a pre credits sequence.


  1. I have always loved Paul Newman. There, I had to get that out. I really love all the pool scenes but his love interest was depressing to me. Great film and jackie Gleason was also fantastic!

  2. It is interesting how many people see this as a pool movie. The pool games are just settings for the real story which is all about the inner struggle of Eddie.

    1. Yeah, I thought that. the AFI put it in their top ten sports movies list. Admittedly, I can't think of any other traditional category it might fit in either, but it's surely not a sports movie?

  3. Yeah but seeing Paul Newman play pool is...special.