The Hustler Reviews
Her happiness on a gambling man-recipe for disaster. I could tell she was trouble from the start. Obvi scott was a creepy evil opportunist. Fast Eddie was a gambling addict-cocky and dumb. It was hard to relate to these characters and while I found there were some profound moments and redemption in the end it was hard to get into and kinda slow.
Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felsen, one of the character that made him famous and for which he could win an Oscar.
Piper Laurie as Oscar nominated plays the doomed love interest. Standout performances come from Jackie Gleason, breaking his Ralph Cramden persona to play a hustler, and most notably George C. Scott, as Newman's oily manager.
Superb adaptation of Walter Tevis's novel about a hustling pool player challenging the legendary Minnesota Fats (Gleason). Vivid and completely absorbing, with Newman outstanding as "Fast" Eddie. Art Direction-Set Decoration, and Eugen Schüfftan's cinematography won well deserved Oscars.
Eddie Felson is such a trainwreck that it truly is impossible to feel empathy for him. He takes perfect opportunities to win and turns them into disasters. Perfectly self destructive behavior of the first order. So, naturally, he hooks up with Piper Laurie's character Sarah, who does nothing but drink all day. However, we quickly learn that Sarah has much more soul and humanity than Eddie could over hope to have.
Robert Rossen's writing and direction are first rate. Eugen Schüfftan's cinematography features beautiful compositions and great black & white contrast. One of the highlights for me was getting to see the cities, trains and places of that time. Kenyon Hopkins' jazz score provides excellent background for the sleezy goings-on.
Given what a great movie this is, it was so disappointing that Martin Scorsese turned Felson and the pool shark story into such a routine, mannered and just plain run-of-the-mill movie like 1986's "The Color of Money."
Definitely skip that, but please see "The Hustler!"