Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash.
"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
Describing the film, Robert Rossen said: "My protagonist, Fast Eddie, wants to become a great pool player, but the film is really about the obstacles he encounters in attempting to fulfill himself as a human being. He attains self-awareness only after a terrible personal tragedy which he has caused - and then he wins his pool game." See more »
Just before Eddie makes the cross corner shot, Fats in the background has the pool cue in his left hand. After Eddie makes the cross corner shot, Fats is tapping his cue on the floor with his right hand. See more »
Because of his tragically erratic, often interrupted career, Robert Rossen is rarely put into the pantheon of great Hollywood directors. However, he produced three films which deserve a permanent place among the classics, All the Kings Men( probably the best film about American politics), Lilith( one of the greatest films about mental illness) and this, a movie which DESERVES to be ranked with the hundred greatest, and possibly the fifty greatest, American films. It is superbly acted, brilliantly photographed and edited, and directed with clarity and assurance. In a just world ( if there is such a place), an special Oscar would have been bestowed on Newman, Laurie, Scott, and Gleason AS A GROUP. Piper Laurie was unforgettably poignant, Scott unforgettably sleazy, and Gleason... well, Gleason simply IS Minnesota Fats. Paul Newman almost certainly deserved the Oscar.It was an amusing irony, perhaps a little joke by God, that the bartender in the movie was played by none other than Jake LaMotta.
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