"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
While at the Kentucky Derby, the race announcer lists some of the horses racing. One of the horses named is "Stroke of Luck". "Stroke of Luck" was one of the titles considered for the film as a result of studio fears that the title "The Hustler" would create negative connotations with prostitution. See more »
The first time we see Eddie play, he tries to duplicate the corner shot the second time but misses. The chalk and wallet next to him disappear when he takes the shot, but return in different positions as the ball rolls off the table. 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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