MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 98 this week

The Hustler (1961)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  25 September 1961 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 49,419 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 88 critic

An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 02 Dec 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 23 Dec 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 07 Jan 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 19 Mar 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Hustler" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Hustler (1961)

The Hustler (1961) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Hustler.

User Polls

Top 250 #232 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Rocky (1976)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Speedway (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Bill Whipple is a happy-go-lucky mechanic for MacDonald who thinks that he is the worlds greatest driver and lover. Mac has treated Bill like a son since he took him in. One day at the ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: William Haines, Anita Page, Ernest Torrence
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A toreador's familial and social life is threatened when he has an affair.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Rosa Rosanova, Rudolph Valentino, Nita Naldi
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A washed up pitcher flashes through his career.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Plain, repressed spinster falls for a dashing young medical student, but he prefers the wilder life, until it's too late.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Geraldine Page, Rita Moreno
Way Down East (1920)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
The Sheik (1921)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A charming Arabian sheik becomes infatuated with an adventurous, modern-thinking Englishwoman and abducts her to his home in the Saharan desert.

Director: George Melford
Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Agnes Ayres, Ruth Miller
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Peg and her father live a simple life in an Irish fishing village. One day Sir Gerald arrives at the village to tell Pat that Peg is heir to estate of her grandfather, who hated Pat. The ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Marion Davies, Onslow Stevens, J. Farrell MacDonald
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Myron McCormick ...
Charlie Burns
...
Findley
...
Big John
...
Preacher
Clifford A. Pellow ...
Turk (as Cliff Pellow)
...
Bartender
Gordon B. Clarke ...
Cashier
Alexander Rose ...
Score Keeper
Carolyn Coates ...
Waitress
Carl York ...
Young Hustler
...
Bartender
Edit

Storyline

"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 <jgp3553@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It delves without compromise into the hungers that lie deep within us all. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Rossen's The Hustler  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Sarah moves her hand off Eddie's knee twice, when she asks him where he goes when he goes out. See more »

Quotes

[in their $3,000 game, after Minnesota Fats breaks, it's Eddie's shot]
Fast Eddie: How should I play that one, Bert? Play it safe? That's the way you always told me to play it: safe... play the percentage. Well, here we go: fast and loose. One ball, corner pocket. Yeah, percentage players die broke, too, don't they, Bert?
[he makes the shot and the spectators applaud]
Fast Eddie: How can I lose?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in All in the Family: Archie Is Cursed (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Hustler Theme
(1961) (uncredited)
Music by Kenyon Hopkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Talented Loser
29 October 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

It's an intriguing idea. If a person is talented, that person should be a winner. And, we would expect a loser to be someone who is not talented. But the idea that someone could be a talented loser is a paradox, a contradiction that doesn't fit into the conventional mindset of American culture, and is the basis for "The Hustler", a character study of an ace pool player who can't seem to win respect from his peers.

The pool player is (Fast) Eddie Felson (Paul Newman). The plot moves along by means of four secondary characters with whom Fast Eddie interacts: (1) his manager, Charlie; (2) the veteran pool player, Minnesota Fats; (3) Eddie's girlfriend, Sarah; and (4) the money man, Bert Gordon.

"The Hustler" is very much a product of the late 50's and early 60's, when progressive filmmakers were trying to buck the staid post WWII era, with its reactionary Cold War mentality that resulted in strict conformity to established American values. In this film, Bert Gordon and Minnesota Fats represent the establishment. Eddie Felson is the loner, up against the establishment; he's the renegade kid, out to beat the system. Yet, at every turn, the establishment beats Eddie, one way or another. His idealism is useless. He must conform to the establishment's rules, expressed in the film as "character", or give up his dreams.

The film is therefore very cynical and incredibly cold. From start to finish, there's not an ounce of humor. It depresses the spirit. But the film is a very good metaphor for a terrible era wherein societal repression was the norm.

While the story's main character may be a loser, the film itself is a talented winner. The excellent B&W lighting, together with a jazzy score, create an effectively somber and downbeat tone, consistent with the oppressive political atmosphere of that era. The dialogue is sparse and incisive. And the acting is persuasive. Paul Newman is convincing, as are the secondary characters. I especially liked the performance of Jackie Gleason, who comes across as suave, serious, and in total control, a great contrast to his comedic side, in "The Honeymooners".

"The Hustler" is depressing and grim. But the film is very well made. It entertains in ways that are obvious, and educates in ways that are subtle.


88 of 123 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The thumb breaking scene? pinealrapture
Fats employed every trick to beat Felson; otherwise he loses. isolated_ions
What did Bert Gordon whisper to Sarah? kag2-1
George C Scott or Jackie Gleason? kag2-1
Top ten Greatest Actor Performances seanmicsu
No Masse Shots Allowed daisylane
Discuss The Hustler (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?