"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
Initially Paul Newman turned down the part of Fast Eddie Felson, as he was unavailable, having committed to star alongside Elizabeth Taylor in the film version of "Two for the Seesaw". Robert Rossen then offered the part to Bobby Darin. However, shooting overruns on Taylor's Cleopatra (1963) meant that she had to drop out of "Seesaw". Newman was then offered the part of Felson again; he accepted it after reading only half of the script. Nobody thought to tell Bobby Darin though, who found out from a member of public at a charity horse race. See more »
When Sarah is lying on the bathroom floor, the bathroom door opens inward and her feet are in front of the door. The cops would have had to move the body to open the door. See more »
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.
Stay with this kid; he's a LOSER.
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This is, without a doubt, the closest anything out of Hollywood ever came to touching the soul of a pool player. Paul Newman plays "Fast Eddie" Felson, a young player from California who travels east to take on the ultimate challenge: to beat "Minnesota Fats," played by the late Jackie Gleason.
Willie Mosconi, probably the greatest pool player who ever walked the Earth, was technical adviser and choreographed many of the game sequences. On technical merit alone, this film is a pool player's classic. Beyond that, however, the way "Fast Eddie" takes to his skills and relationships pushes this film out as a classic for the general audience. In one scene, he is describing what it is like to be really good at something. It is one of the best speeches about excellence I have ever heard. This is one of my top three films. On a scale of ten, I give it an eleven.
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