"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
The Hustler (1961) while nominated for many awards, lost all the major ones and the main competition at the Oscars were the films Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) and West Side Story (1961) . In the scene when Eddie takes Sara out to a restaurant just before the Louisville trip, Sara has a line "I feel pretty" which, of course was the title to a major song in West Side Story. See more »
When Sarah writes words on the mirror, she writes "TWISTEd" - all capital letters except for the "d". When it is shown later, when Eddie is in the room, it is written in all lower case letters. See more »
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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