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The Color of Money (1986)

R  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  17 October 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 55,079 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 56 critic

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.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Agins ...
Earl at Chalkie's
Alvin Anastasia ...
Randall Arney ...
Child World Customer #1
Diane at Bar
Lou at Child World
Guy in Crowd
Lisa Dodson ...
Child World Customer #2
Donald A. Feeney ...
Referee #1
Paul Geier ...
Two Brothers / Stranger Player


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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Hustler isn't what he used to be, but he has the next best thing. A kid who is.


Drama | Sport


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El color del dinero  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,800,000 (estimated)


$52,293,982 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paul Newman sent Martin Scorsese the book The Color of Money by Walter Tevis. See more »


In the first "two brothers and a stranger" scene, Vincent's opponent's first shown shot is at the eight ball - which is one of two eight balls on the table. See more »


Eddie Felson: How much did you take off Moselle? I heard a hundred...
Vincent Lauria: One Fifty!
Eddie Felson: [sarcastically] A hundred and fifty?
Vincent Lauria: That's right, a hundred and fifty.
Vincent Lauria: You walk into a shoe store with a hundred and fifty bucks, you come out with one shoe! We were working on five thousand!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dog Walkby (Zoe) See more »


Walk On The Wild Side
Words by Mack David
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Performed by Jimmy Smith
Courtesy of Polygram Special Projects
See more »

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User Reviews

Fast Eddie is back!
28 April 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

People misunderstood "The Color of Money," I think. There are a few things to keep in mind:

1) This was a Martin Scorsese film. Scorsese was fresh off "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," and other such successes from less than a decade before. People were expecting a lot.

2) It starred Paul Newman, returning to his character from "The Hustler," in a sequel that was twenty-five years in the making. That's longer than the wait for the "Phantom Menace" prequel.

Perhaps for those two (very strong) reasons alone, when "The Color of Money" opened in 1986, the critics and audiences didn't think much of it. It garnered decent praise from both areas but most critics seemed to agree: it didn't hold a candle to "The Hustler," and anyone other than Scorsese could have easily made the same picture.

After 19 years, I disagree. I think "The Color of Money" is not only an intelligent and amusing character piece, but an excellent continuation of a character we haven't seen for 25 years.

First of all, Scorsese's direction isn't his best, but it's still very good. And he's definitely got the same elements going on as "After Hours" from a few years before -- his cinematography is identical and the dark colors and grainy '80s vibe are present in every frame. Likewise he's using the quick-cuts and zooms and iconic panning shots that he's known for. The thing is, Scorsese's styles just changed a bit during the 1980s (they even carried on into "GoodFellas" -- the night-time shots carry the same foreboding look as "After Hours" and "Color of Money"). I think now, looking back, since we've seen more of Scorsese's films, it's easier to notice that this is indeed a Martin Scorsese film. A man who is constantly changing his directorial approach. (Just look at "The Aviator" for goodness sake!) Newman deserved the Oscar more for "The Hustler," of course, but for what it's worth, Fast Eddie Felson's evolution is handled with care in the script and it's very entertaining (for anyone who's seen the original) to note the change in his behavior. It's also interesting to see the new cocky pool hustler, Vince (Tom Cruise), filling in the shoes of Eddie from a few decades before.

If "The Hustler" was a great insight into the life of a troubled young man, then "The Color of Money" is a terrific insight into the evolution of this man, and the contrast between the young and the old. All adults tell us as children that they were just like us at one time, and we don't believe them. "The Color of Money" follows this principal -- in thirty years, we all know Vince will be just like Fast Eddie: wise and matured. And then he'll probably be coaching a young guy who thinks he's the king of the world. Will they make another sequel based on this continuation of the story? I doubt it. It's unnecessary, because as far as I'm concerned "The Color of Money" has already stressed the point. But you never know...

Overall this isn't a great movie and I won't pretend it is. But I do think it's one of the better films to come out of the 1980s and had a lot more going for it than some of the critics gave it credit for. Film buffs should see it, especially those who loved "The Hustler."

45 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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