Hud Bannon is a ruthless young man who tarnishes everything and everyone he touches. Hud represents the perfect embodiment of alienated youth, out for kicks with no regard for the ... See full summary »
"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
According to editor Dede Allen, an entire scene from this film was omitted after much deliberation between Allen and her director Robert Rossen. Even though both agreed that the scene, an impassioned speech by Paul Newman in the pool room, was possibly the best part of his entire performance, they had to throw it out because "...it didn't move the story." Newman, though Oscar-nominated, later claimed that the deleted scene most likely cost him the Academy Award. See more »
Eddie's hands change position on his cue after his first shot against Minnesota Fats. See more »
Fats, let's you and me shoot a game of straight pool.
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.
Now I know why they call you Fast Eddie.
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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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