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The Hustler (1961)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  25 September 1961 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 49,349 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 88 critic

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

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

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Top 250 #232 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

Trapped by the underworld . . . they risked love and fortune in a desperate gamble! 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

Paul Newman agreed to make the film having read only half the script. He knew at that stage that it was a great project for him. See more »

Goofs

During Findley's party, all of the musicians fingers are out of sync with the rhythms of the music. Most noticeable is the clarinetist. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Kingpin (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Hustler Theme
(1961) (uncredited)
Music by Kenyon Hopkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Best Sports Movie Ever
2 October 2004 | by (Richland, WA) – See all my reviews

I think "The Hustler" is the best sports movie ever made. Fast Eddie Felson is perhaps the most talented pool shooter in the country and yet, at his core, he's a born loser. Why is Eddie so self-destructive? He has Minnesota Fats, ostensibly the country's greatest player, beaten in the first marathon match only to drink himself into insensibility and let Fats off the hook.

Throughout the movie Eddie is surrounded by other people who are self-destructive or only interested in making a buck off of him. Even Charlie, his original manager (Myron McCormick in a terrific role)needs him for a meal ticket. Bert, his second manager, is a slithering, calculating parasite who uses everyone around him. Sara, Eddie's pathetic girlfriend, is going through life in an aimless, alcoholic haze.

The movie really lets you into the lives of these people who live on the margins of society. The cinematography is outstanding, the settings and mood of the movie draw you in totally. The acting is uniformly outstanding from top to bottom. Great movies get great performances from the minor characters, too. Vincent Gardenia, Michael Constantine, Murray Hamilton and McCormick are perfect in the smaller roles while Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie (all getting well-deserved Oscar nominations) and George C. Scott are indelible in the major roles. Even boxer Jake LaMotta has a cameo as a bartender.

Can Eddie finally overcome being a born loser? Can love redeem any of these lost people? What makes a person a champion? Is it talent alone or does a champion need some inner demon that can only be defeated by pursuing victory at all costs?


35 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Fats employed every trick to beat Felson; otherwise he loses. isolated_ions
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