Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
"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
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 »
Eddie's hands change position on his cue after his first shot against Minnesota Fats. See more »
What if I don't pay ya, Bert?
You don't pay me? You're gonna get your thumbs broken again. And your fingers. If I want 'em to, they're gonna break your right arm in three or four places.
You better pay him, Eddie.
So you figure you're still my manager, huh?
I'm a business-man, kid.
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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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