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The Hustler
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The Hustler (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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The Hustler -- Paul Newman heads a superb cast featuring Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie in the riveting film that received an Academy Award nomination as Best Picture of 1961 and brought all four of its Oscar nomination. Newman (Best Actor nominee) is electrifying as "Fast" Eddie Felson, an arrogant, amoral hustler who haunts backstreet pool rooms fleecing anyone who'll pick up a cue. Determined to be acclaimed as the best, Eddie seeks out the legendary Minnesota Fats (Gleason, Supporting Actor nominee), who's backed by Bert Gordon (Scott, Supporting Actor nominee), a predatory gambler. Eddie can beat the champ, but virtually defeats himself with his low self-image. The love of a lonely woman (Laurie, Best Actress nominee) could turn Eddie's life around, but he won't rest until he beats Minnesota Fats, no matter what price he must pay. Voted one of the year's ten best by "The New York Times" and "Time," and distinguished by 2 Academy Awards- Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration (B&W), The Hustler is a dazzling cinematic triumph.
The Hustler -- An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

Overview

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8.1/10   57,104 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Sidney Carroll (screenplay) and
Robert Rossen (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Hustler on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 September 1961 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
They Called Him "Fast Eddie" See more »
Plot:
An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Talented Loser See more (154 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Newman ... Eddie Felson

Jackie Gleason ... Minnesota Fats

Piper Laurie ... Sarah Packard

George C. Scott ... Bert Gordon
Myron McCormick ... Charlie Burns

Murray Hamilton ... Findley

Michael Constantine ... Big John

Stefan Gierasch ... Preacher
Clifford A. Pellow ... Turk (as Cliff Pellow)

Jake LaMotta ... Bartender
Gordon B. Clarke ... Cashier
Alexander Rose ... Score Keeper
Carolyn Coates ... Waitress
Carl York ... Young Hustler

Vincent Gardenia ... Bartender
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Adams ... Old Doctor (uncredited)
Tom Ahearne ... Bartender (uncredited)
Charles Andre ... Waiter at Parisien Restaurant (uncredited)
Don Crabtree ... Small Role (uncredited)
Gloria Curtis ... Girl with Fur Coat (uncredited)
Robert Daget ... (uncredited)
Don De Leo ... Another Player (uncredited)
Charles Dierkop ... Pool Room Hood (uncredited)
William Duell ... Billy (Louisville Hustler) (uncredited)
James Dukas ... Kibitzer (uncredited)
Brendan Fay ... Player (uncredited)
Jack Healy ... Hotel Proprietor (uncredited)

Hoke Howell ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Don Koll ... Racetrack Ticket Clerk (uncredited)
Charles McDaniel ... Reservation Clerk at Louisville Hotel (uncredited)
Charles Mosconi ... Second Man (uncredited)
Willie Mosconi ... Willie (uncredited)

Sid Raymond ... First Man (uncredited)
Art Smith ... Old Man Attendant (uncredited)
Blue Washington ... Limping Attendant at Ames Billiards (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Rossen 
 
Writing credits
Sidney Carroll (screenplay) (as Sydney Carroll) and
Robert Rossen (screenplay)

Walter Tevis (based on the novel by) (as Walter S. Tevis)

Produced by
Robert Rossen .... producer
 
Original Music by
Kenyon Hopkins 
 
Cinematography by
Eugen Schüfftan (director of photography) (as Eugene Shuftan)
 
Film Editing by
Dede Allen (film editor)
 
Production Design by
Harry Horner 
 
Set Decoration by
Gene Callahan 
 
Costume Design by
Ruth Morley (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Donoene .... hair stylist
Robert Jiras .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
John Graham .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles H. Maguire .... assistant director (as Charles Maguire)
Ulu Grosbard .... assistant director (uncredited)
Don Kranze .... assistant director (uncredited)
Angelo Laiacona .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Albert Brenner .... associate art director
Jack Flaherty .... property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Edward Beyer .... sound editor
Jim Shields .... sound (as James Shields)
Dick Vorisek .... sound (as Richard Vorisek)
Jack Fitzstephens .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Herbert Holcombe .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
William Cronjager .... assistant cameraman
David Golden .... chief electrician
Saul Midwall .... camera operator
Muky .... still photographer
Martin Nallan .... chief grip (as Martin Nallan Jr.)
Felix Trimboli .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Tom Volpe .... dolly grip (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Richard Stone .... assistant editor
Evan A. Lottman .... montage of pool scenes editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Angelo Ross .... music editor
Dan Terry .... musician: Louisville music
 
Other crew
Marguerite James .... script supervisor
Willie Mosconi .... technical advisor
Fred Hift .... publicist (uncredited)
Ralph M. Leo .... production accountant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Robert Rossen's The Hustler" - USA (complete title)
"Eddie Felson" - Israel (English title)
"Hustler" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Runtime:
134 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ulu Grosbard later noted that the interior of Sarah's apartment was built in a studio at 55th St. and 10th Ave. He said the actors' dressing rooms there were very small and, in his memory, without windows, "like cells," but that Piper Laurie furnished hers "as if she were going to live in it the rest of her life." It was Grosbard's impression that Laurie would sometimes spend the night there.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Sarah is lying on the bathroom floor, the bathroom door opens inward and her feet are in front of the door. The cops would have had to move the body to open the door.See more »
Quotes:
Fast Eddie:I'm shooting pool, Fats. When I miss, you can shoot.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Vivre Sa Vie (1962)See more »
Soundtrack:
Louisville DixielandSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "The Hustler" based on a book?
Any recommendation for other pool-playing movies like "The Hustler"?
See more »
95 out of 130 people found the following review useful.
A Talented Loser, 29 October 2005
Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (154 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Hustler (1961)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
type of game they played Royalroland656
The Hustler vs. West Side Story Tarantinoesque
Fats asks "Now I know why they call you Fast Eddie". jerryco99
Just noticed hows Fats is dressed jerryco99
Handbook on the side? HenriettaDemina
What did Bert Gordon whisper to Sarah? kag2-1
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