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The Hustler (1961)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  25 September 1961 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 56,383 users  
Reviews: 154 user | 92 critic

An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

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(screenplay) (as Sydney Carroll) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Hustler (1961)

The Hustler (1961) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Top 250 #249 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Directors: Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Myron McCormick ...
Charlie Burns
...
Findley
...
Big John
...
Preacher
Clifford A. Pellow ...
Turk (as Cliff Pellow)
...
Bartender
Gordon B. Clarke ...
Cashier
Alexander Rose ...
Score Keeper
Carolyn Coates ...
Waitress
Carl York ...
Young Hustler
...
Bartender
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Storyline

"Fast" Eddie Felson is a small-time pool hustler with a lot of talent but a self-destructive attitude. His bravado causes him to challenge the legendary "Minnesota Fats" to a high-stakes match, but he loses in a heartbreaking marathon. Now broke and without his long-time manager, Felson faces an uphill battle to regain his confidence and his game. It isn't until he hits rock bottom that he agrees to join up with ruthless and cutthroat manager Bert Gordon. Gordon agrees to take him on the road to learn the ropes. But Felson soon realizes that making it to the top could cost him his soul, and perhaps his girlfriend. Will he decide that this is too steep a price to pay in time to save himself? Written by <jgp3553@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It delves without compromise into the hungers that lie deep within us all. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Rossen's The Hustler  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Piper Laurie learned how modest and unassuming Paul Newman was. "He really didn't believe in himself as an actor at all. He thought he had great limitations, and owed everything to other people- the Actors Studio, Joanne- he seemed not to take credit for himself." See more »

Goofs

During the last match between Fats and Eddie, in the first game, Fats attempts a soft break, leaving the cue ball against the rail. In the establishing shot, the cue ball is clearly bouncing away from the rail, in the next shot, the ball is tight frozen against the rail. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Shag (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Louisville Dixieland
(1961) (uncredited)
Music by 'Dan Terry'
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
More praise heaped onto enduring classic
18 January 2004 | by (Austin, Texas) – See all my reviews

I've seen The Hustler repeated times, thought not as many as some of the other commentators. Recently I saw it for the first time in the theater, at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. Watching "The Hustler" in a theater is like listening to Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" album: you start to see and even hear things in black and white. You know the pool tables are green, and the balls are multi-colored, but somehow the black and white perfectly matches the colorless existence of the protagonist and his supporting players. You can smell the cigarettes, taste the booze.

Newman, Gleason, Scott, and Laurie all turn in great performances. But this movie, made after the heyday of the studio players' contract, still bears the hallmark of great movies from that era: strong supporting performances all the way down the line. Vincent Gardenia, for pete's sake, as the unlucky bartender in the first scene! Michael Constantine as Big John. Myron McCormick as Charlie, Eddie's sponsor most of the way through the movie. And Murray Hamilton as the millionaire Southern mark. This movie was made when supporting roles were an end in themselves, by actors who believed every second they were on screen should be of high quality.

The day I wrote this review -- January 18, 2004 -- The Hustler was no. 143 on the Top 250 list. No way are there 142 better movies.


63 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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