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
Piper Laurie learned how modest and unassuming Paul Newman was. "He really didn't believe in himself as an actor at all. He thought he had great limitations, and owed everything to other people- the Actors Studio, Joanne- he seemed not to take credit for himself." See more »
Eddie's hands change position on his cue after his first shot against Minnesota Fats. See more »
You know, I got a hunch, fat man. I got a hunch it's me from here on in. One ball, corner pocket. I mean, that ever happen to you? You know, all of a sudden you feel like you can't miss? 'Cause I dreamed about this game, fat man. I dreamed about this game every night on the road. Five ball. You know, this is my table, man. I own it.
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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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