This is the film that made a huge star of Paul Newman. Coming in completely under the radar, the film became the year's sleeper hit and garnered 9 Oscar nominations (winning two for Art Direction and Cinematography). The public loved it and so did the critics. It is a study of the morality or the lack thereof in pool halls. Also it is a film about the players and the men who use them to make money. Sometimes you have to wade waist deep in the slime created by the film. All the lead actors (Newman, Gleason, Scott, and Laurie) are wonderful and director Robert Rossen (Island in the Sun, All the King's Men) has created a film which is steeped in symbolism. Every frame is a picture worth a thousand words and he demonstrates that sometimes suggesting something rather than coming right out with it is more effective. It is widely considered to be one of the better films every made.
Due to his good looks and boyish charm, Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) has managed to hustle many a pool player in many a pool establishment across the country. With his confidence at a high, Fast Eddie decides that he is ready to take on the top pool player in Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason – from television's The Honeymooners). Finding Minnesota at his favourite pool hall, the two play for an astonishing 36 straight hours. Minnesota finally defeats Eddie and the young man is broke plus crushed. His manager leaves him and it seems like Eddie has hit rock bottom. His situation being what it is, Eddie agrees to take on a cutthroat gambler named Bert Gordon (George C. Scott – Taps, Patton) as his new manager. Gordon insists on taking Eddie on the road to regain his confidence, but he soon discovers his journey back to the top is at a steep price. He might lose the one person he loves, Sarah (Piper Laurie – Carrie, Other People's Money). When he finally faces Minnesota again he is a different man.
-Trick Shot Analysis
-Life in the Fast Lane: Eddie Felson and the Search for Greatness
-Milestones in Cinematic History
-Swimming With Sharks: The Art of the Hustle
-The Hustler: The Inside Story
-Paul Newman: Hollywood's Cool Hand
-How to Make the Shot
-The Films of Paul Newman