A young man leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big give-away in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When they get to the new... See full summary »
As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.
Pool hustler Fast Eddie Felson finds the young, promising pool player Vincent in a local bar and he sees in him a younger version of himself. To try and make it as in the old days, Eddie offers to teach Vincent how to be a hustler. After some hesitations Vincent accepts and Eddie takes him and Vincent's girlfriend Carmen on a tour through the country to work the pool halls. However, Vincent's tendency to show off his talent and by doing so warning off the players and losing money, soon leads to a confrontation with Eddie. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
At one point, Eddie tells Vincent he hasn't played serious pool since before Vincent was born. In real life, Tom Cruise wasn't born until the year after "The Hustler" was released. See more »
When Vincent is playing Grady Seasons in the tournament, at one point, he shoots and misses an easy shot of the eight ball into the side pocket. While the camera moves with the shot, you see that the three ball is still on the table on the other side rail, indicating that he is aiming for balls out of order of nine-ball rules. See more »
Vincent, get in the car, this is embarrassing. You're acting like some girl who got felt up at the drive-in.
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Paul Newman reprised his role of Eddie Felson from "The Hustler" (1961), on all short lists of great movies, to star in "The Color of Money", a worthy sequel in the way "Rocky II" was to "Rocky" -- not a great movie, but very good.
Eddie, advancing in years, has apparently left the hustling circuit for a more respectable job as a liquor wholesalesman. On his route, he encounters a brash, obnoxious pool shark named Vincent (Tom Cruise) and his girlfriend (Mary Mastrantonio). Vincent has the talent, but not the brains or knowledge, to be another great hustler, so Eddie, his desire for the circuit reignited, offers to stake Vincent and teach him the ropes, in exchange for a substantial piece of the winnings. At first, Vincent's ego and obnoxiousness threaten his development, but he soon learns all of Eddie's tricks -- and a few of his own. By the time of the big tournament at the end of the movie, Eddie and Vince have split ways -- and find themselves on a collision course.
I just realized that "The Color of Money" is my favorite Tom Cruise movie, but not my favorite Paul Newman movie (which could well be "The Hustler"). I re-viewed this movie recently after a long discussion with some friends about the difference between a movie star and an actor, and the few living legends that are both (besides Newman, I'd include Jack Nicholson and Robert de Niro). As always, Newman, even with such a huge public persona, disappears into the role of the middle-aged grifter, heartbroken how far his game has fallen in the days since he left the pool hall circuit. But he also makes the other performers around him shine. Cruise's trademark cockiness shines through in Vincent. Besides Mastrantonio, one of my favorite actresses Helen Shaver turns in a nice performance as Eddie's girlfriend, and Forest Whitaker first appeared on my radar in his short time on screen.
The other star of the movie is the game. While Scorsese didn't make his movie into the character study of "The Hustler", he uses the pool tables and balls as a medium for many artistic scenes. If you are someone who enjoys looking at beautiful movies, you won't be disappointed. And there might even be some real pool players -- you never know...
The story is good, not great. "The Color of Money" is not cut from the same felt as "The Hustler", and does not try to be. It is a movie about pool, not a character study. I don't think I would be up to repeated viewings as frequent as "The Hustler", but it's a fine way to spend an evening watching Newman and Cruise shoot pool.
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