Fast Eddie Felson
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Quotes for
Fast Eddie Felson (Character)
from The Hustler (1961)

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The Hustler (1961)
Bert Gordon: Eddie, is it alright if I get personal?
Fast Eddie: Whaddaya been so far?
Bert Gordon: Eddie, you're a born loser.
Fast Eddie: What's that supposed to mean?
Bert Gordon: First time in ten years I ever saw Minnesota Fats hooked... really hooked. But you let him off.
Fast Eddie: I told you I got drunk.
Bert Gordon: Sure you got drunk. You have the best excuse in the world for losing; no trouble losing when you got a good excuse. Winning... that can be heavy on your back, too, like a monkey. You'll drop that load too when you got an excuse. All you gotta do is learn to feel sorry for yourself. One of the best indoor sports, feeling sorry for yourself. A sport enjoyed by all, especially the born losers.
Fast Eddie: Thanks for the drink.

[last lines]
Fast Eddie: Fat man, you shoot a great game of pool.
Minnesota Fats: So do you, Fast Eddie.

[Fast Eddie is bothered because Bert called him a born loser]
Fast Eddie: Cause, ya see, twice, Sarah... once at Ames with Minnesota Fats and then again at Arthur's, in that cheap, crummy pool room, now why'd I do it, Sarah? Why'd I do it? I coulda beat that guy, coulda beat 'im cold, he never woulda known. But I just hadda show 'im. Just hadda show those creeps and those punks what the game is like when it's great, when it's REALLY great. You know, like anything can be great, anything can be great. I don't care, BRICKLAYING can be great, if a guy knows. If he knows what he's doing and why and if he can make it come off. When I'm goin', I mean, when I'm REALLY goin' I feel like a... like a jockey must feel. He's sittin' on his horse, he's got all that speed and that power underneath him... he's comin' into the stretch, the pressure's on 'im, and he KNOWS... just feels... when to let it go and how much. Cause he's got everything workin' for 'im: timing, touch. It's a great feeling, boy, it's a real great feeling when you're right and you KNOW you're right. It's like all of a sudden I got oil in my arm. The pool cue's part of me. You know, it's uh - pool cue, it's got nerves in it. It's a piece of wood, it's got nerves in it. Feel the roll of those balls, you don't have to look, you just KNOW. You make shots that nobody's ever made before. I can play that game the way... NOBODY'S ever played it before.
Sarah Packard: You're not a loser, Eddie, you're a winner. Some men never get to feel that way about anything.

Fast Eddie: You can't see it, can you, Charlie? I mean, you've never been able to see it. I came after him. And I'm gonna get him. I'm goin' with him all the way. The pool game is not over until Minnesota Fats says it's over. Is it over, Fats?

Bert Gordon: I don't think there's a pool player alive shoots better pool than I saw you shoot the other night at Ames. You got talent.
Fast Eddie: So I got talent. So what beat me?
Bert Gordon: Character.

Fast Eddie: I don't rattle, kid. But just for that I'm gonna beat you flat.

Fast Eddie: Get on me Bert, I can't lose.

Fast Eddie: I'm the best you ever seen, Fats. I'm the best there is. And even if you beat me, I'm still the best.
Bert Gordon: Stay with this kid; he's a LOSER.

Fast Eddie: I'm shooting pool, Fats. When I miss, you can shoot.

Sarah Packard: How did you know my name was Sarah?
Fast Eddie: You told me.
Sarah Packard: I lie. When I'm drunk I lie.
Fast Eddie: Okay, so what's your name today?
Sarah Packard: Sarah.

Charlie Burns: Quiet.
Fast Eddie: Yeah, like a church. Church of the Good Hustle.
Charlie Burns: Looks more like a morgue to me. Those tables are the slabs they lay the stiffs on.
Fast Eddie: I'll be alive when I get out, Charlie.

Charlie Burns: How do you feel?
Fast Eddie: Fast and loose, man.
Charlie Burns: In the gut, I mean.
Fast Eddie: I feel tight, but good.

Fast Eddie: You know, I got a hunch, fat man. I got a hunch it's me from here on in. One ball, corner pocket. I mean, that ever happen to you? You know, all of a sudden you feel like you can't miss? 'Cause I dreamed about this game, fat man. I dreamed about this game every night on the road. Five ball. You know, this is my table, man. I own it.

Fast Eddie: How can I lose?

Fast Eddie: Look, I... um... can always buy a bottle. A fifth of scotch?
Sarah Packard: What'ya want me to do - just step out in the alley? Is that it?

Fast Eddie: Maybe I'm not such a high-class piece of property right now. And a 25% slice of something big is better than a 100% slice of nothing.

Big John: You Eddie Felson.
Fast Eddie: Who's he?
Big John: What's your game? Whaddaya shoot?
Fast Eddie: You name it, we shoot it.
Big John: Look, friend, I'm not trying to hustle. I don't never hustle people that walk in a poolroom with leather satchels. Don't try to hustle me.
Fast Eddie: Okay, I'm Eddie Felson. I shoot straight pool.

[Eddie watching Minnesota Fats during their first game, whispers to Charlie]
Fast Eddie: Boy, he is great! Jeez, that old fat man. Look at the way he moves: like a dancer... And those fingers, them chubby fingers. That stroke... it's like he's, uh, like he's playin' the violin or somethin'.

Sarah Packard: I'm a college girl. Two days a week - Tuesdays and Thursdays - I go to college.
Fast Eddie: You don't look like a college girl.
Sarah Packard: I'm the emancipated type. Real emancipated.
Fast Eddie: No, I didn't mean that... whatever that means. I mean you just don't look young enough.
Sarah Packard: I'm not.
Fast Eddie: So why go to college?
Sarah Packard: Got nothing else to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Fast Eddie: What do you do on the other days?
Sarah Packard: I drink.

Sarah Packard: Eddie, look, I've got troubles... and I think maybe you've got troubles. Maybe it'd be better if we just leave each other alone.
Fast Eddie: I have my things over at the hotel. I'll bring them over later.
Sarah Packard: I'm not sure. I don't know.
Fast Eddie: Well, what do you want to know? And why?

Sarah Packard: I love you, Eddie.
Fast Eddie: You know, someday, Sarah, you're gonna settle down... you're gonna marry a college professor and you're gonna write a great book. Maybe about me. Huh? Fast Eddie Felson... hustler.
Sarah Packard: I love you.
Fast Eddie: You need the words?
Sarah Packard: Yes, I need them very much. If you ever say them I'll never let you take them back.

[in their $3,000 game, after Minnesota Fats breaks, it's Eddie's shot]
Fast Eddie: How should I play that one, Bert? Play it safe? That's the way you always told me to play it: safe... play the percentage. Well, here we go: fast and loose. One ball, corner pocket. Yeah, percentage players die broke, too, don't they, Bert?
[he makes the shot and the spectators applaud]
Fast Eddie: How can I lose?

Fast Eddie: The pool game is over when Fats says it's over... I came after him and I'm gonna get him. I'm going with him all the way.

Fast Eddie: No bar?
Cashier: No bar, no pinball machines, no bowling alleys, just pool... nothing else. This is Ames, mister.

Fast Eddie: Fats, let's you and me shoot a game of straight pool.
Minnesota Fats: Hundred dollars?
Fast Eddie: Well, you shoot big time pool, Fats. I mean, that's what everybody says: you shoot big time pool. Let's make it $200 a game.
Minnesota Fats: Now I know why they call you Fast Eddie.

Bert Gordon: How's your hand?
Fast Eddie: Fine.
Bert Gordon: Good. I'd hate to think I was puttin' my money on a cripple.
Fast Eddie: Hey, whaddaya say somethin' like that for?
Sarah Packard: It's alright, Eddie. I'm sure Mr. Gordon meant no offense. It was a figure of speech.
Bert Gordon: That's right, Miss Packard.
Sarah Packard: And a fact is a fact.
Bert Gordon: Smart girl, Eddie.

Fast Eddie: What if I don't pay ya, Bert?
Bert Gordon: [laughs] You don't pay me? You're gonna get your thumbs broken again. And your fingers. If I want 'em to, they're gonna break your right arm in three or four places.
Minnesota Fats: You better pay him, Eddie.
Fast Eddie: So you figure you're still my manager, huh?
Bert Gordon: I'm a business-man, kid.

Fast Eddie: Boy, you better, you tell your boys they better kill me, Bert. They better go all the way with me, 'cause if they just bust me up, I'll put all those pieces back together again, then so help me... So help me God, Bert, I'm gonna come back here and I'm gonna kill you.

Fast Eddie: Fats, you can't run out on me!
Minnesota Fats: You watch me.

Fast Eddie: [reading] We have a contract of depravity; all we have to do is pull a blind down.

Fast Eddie: You sure don't leave much when you miss, do you, Fats?
Minnesota Fats: That's what the game's all about


The Color of Money (1986)
Eddie Felson: Vincent, get in the car, this is embarrassing. You're acting like some girl who got felt up at the drive-in.

Eddie Felson: I'm not your daddy, I'm not your boyfriend, so don't be playing games with me. I'm your partner.

Eddie Felson: It's even, but it ain't settled. Let's settle it.

Eddie Felson: Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.

Eddie Felson: You gotta have two things to win. You gotta have brains and you gotta have balls. Now, you got too much of one and not enough of the other.

Eddie Felson: Do you smell that?
Vincent Lauria: What, smoke?
Carmen: No, Money...

Eddie Felson: I can always go back to whiskey, it's been very good to me.

Eddie Felson: You're some piece of work... You're also a natural character.
Vincent Lauria: [to Carmen] You see? I been tellin' her that. I got natural character.
Eddie Felson: That's not what I said, kid. I said you *are* a natural character; you're an incredible flake.
[Vincent's smile fades; Eddie continues]
Eddie Felson: But that's a *gift*. Some guys spend half their lives trying to invent something like that. You walk into a pool room with that go-go-go, the guys'll be *killing* each other, trying to get to you. You got that... But I'll tell you something, kiddo. You couldn't find Big Time if you had a road map.

Eddie Felson: How much did you take off Moselle? I heard a hundred...
Vincent Lauria: One Fifty!
Eddie Felson: [sarcastically] A hundred and fifty?
Vincent Lauria: That's right, a hundred and fifty.
Vincent Lauria: You walk into a shoe store with a hundred and fifty bucks, you come out with one shoe! We were working on five thousand!

Eddie Felson: Pool excellence is *not* about excellent pool.

Eddie Felson: [to Vincent] I'll change my teeth, you change your god damned diapers!

Vincent Lauria: [Eddie has just run the table] Pretty damn good.
Eddie Felson: Not bad for a blind man. Rack 'em.
Vincent Lauria: Yes sir, boss. Rack 'em up for Mr. Fast Eddie!
Eddie Felson: I haven't played serious pool since before you were born, and right off the bat, I'm layin' 'em to waste! Watch this. Nine on the break...

Eddie Felson: Did you ever hear of a hustle called Two Brothers and a Stranger?
Vincent Lauria: Yeah, uh, that's the guy in the Bible with the many colored coats, right?
[grins widely; Eddie and Carmen look disgusted]
Vincent Lauria: Hey, what's wrong with you guys? It's a joke, okay?
Eddie Felson: Did I get through to you last night, kiddo? 'Cause if I didn't, I'll run it by you another way. If you'd have kicked ass in any other place but Chalkie's, Atlantic City would be dead for us. The Guys Never Leave The Street. Otherwise, it'd be all around.

Eddie Felson: Human moves, kid. You study the watch... while I study you.

Eddie Felson: This ain't pool. This is for bangers. Straight pool is pool. This is like hand-ball, or cribbage, or something. Straight pool, you gotta be a real surgeon to get 'em, you know? It's all finesse. Now, every thing is nine-ball, 'cause it's fast, good for T.V., good for a lot of break shots... Oh, well. What the hell. Checkers sells more than chess.

Eddie Felson: The balls roll funny for everybody, kiddo.

Eddie Felson: [to Carmen about Vincent] We got a racehorse here, a thoroughbred. You make him feel good, I teach him how to run!

Eddie Felson: Where's the Balabushka?
Carmen: Vincent took it.
Eddie Felson: You said he was out.
Carmen: He was in and out.
Eddie Felson: He took the cue stick?
Carmen: Yes.
Eddie Felson: And you let him?
Carmen: Well, so what?
Eddie Felson: Shit.
Carmen: Oh, man, I'm sorry.
Eddie Felson: Jesus. Goddamn. Child care!

Eddie Felson: You know what this is turning into?
Vincent Lauria: What?
Eddie Felson: A waste of my time, and a waste of my money.
[Slams car door]
Vincent Lauria: What? You're just gonna' leave me here?
[Eddie drives off]
Vincent Lauria: I don't believe this guy!

Eddie Felson: I can always go back to whiskey; it's been very good to me. I mean, you're sitting in it, and I'm wearing it.

Vincent Lauria: [Eddie is pushing to go on the road] This is my job, Eddie.
Eddie Felson: You think so? Hmmm. That's funny. I don't think so. I think it's your problem.

[last lines]
Vincent Lauria: Hey Eddie, what are you going to do when I kick your ass?
Eddie Felson: Pick myself up and let you kick me again.
Vincent Lauria: Oh yeah?
Eddie Felson: Yeah.
[pause]
Eddie Felson: Just don't put the money in the bank, kid. Because if I don't whip you now, I'm gonna whip you next month in Dallas.
Carmen: You mean Houston - there's nothing coming up in Dallas.
Eddie Felson: Houston, Dallas... And if not then, then the month after that, in New Orleans.
Vincent Lauria: Oh yeah? What makes you so sure?
Eddie Felson: [stares at Vincent for a second, then gets ready to break] Hey - I'm back.
[Eddie breaks]