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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 54,334 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 54 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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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 <>

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?


Legendary game developers John Carmack and John Romero revealed that this film especially the exchange between Vincent and Moselle was the main reason behind the title of the hit video game Doom and its sequels. See more »


When Eddie is playing Amos (and still winning), he plays a kick shot combination with the 6 and the 9. The 3 ball is clearly still on the table, making Eddie's shot illegal for 9 ball. See more »


Vincent Lauria: Hey Grady. Up your ass with the spot. Is that OK with you?
Grady Seasons: [laughs] That's fine by me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dog Walkby (Zoe) See more »


Referenced in Expecting Mercy (2000) See more »


Who Owns This Place?
Written by Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar and JD Souther
Performed by Don Henley
See more »

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User Reviews

A good ride, colorful shooting (camera and pool), but a bit thin overall, except Newman.
10 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Color of Money (1986)

The reputation of this films rides partly on its director, a mainstream Martin Scorsese, and on the previous film it bounces off of (and makes vague reference to), The Hustler. Key to both films is the astonishing Paul Newman, who holds his end of the stick and then some. The rest of the cast is purely in canned and competent support roles, or in semi-star roles by two young actors with some screen presence but no great subtle skill to match Newman's.

I'm speaking not only of Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio, who is forced to play the slightly tough, slightly sexy, generally submissive girlfriend, but also of Tom Cruise, who is brilliant at being "flakey" partly because he is in real life, from all accounts. You give Scorsese credit here for using the young actor in a role that matches his natural persona, in contrast to others, including Spielberg, who seem to make more of the actor than there is, and a certain falseness gets in the way. But this film uses the awkwardness and naive, boyish qualities of Cruise as a sudden pool shark really well.

What holds it all back? I think basically plot. I mean, it's fun to see the big hustle at play, and to get stung once or twice when things aren't what they seem. But we sort of know going in that that's the general plan, and then it happens. And it takes a long time happening...there are no (no) complications here, beyond pool and hustling. The romances, for what they are worth, a completely thin, and didn't have to be. The settings, all these great (great) poolhalls and small town joints are terrific, populated a little too perfectly by locals of all different stripes. The camera-work makes some fairly cinema verite footage make sense in the scenes, but not with either edge or lyricism.

This all sounds a little like I'm working hard to point out the flaws, and I must go back to where I started about Newman, and the basic strength of the aging pool player facing a change in his personal scenery. It's a canned affair overall. Well done, sure, but without the richness of the best of Scorsese's work, or the best of Hollywood, for that matter, including the preceding The Hustler, which you might see in a pairing with this one.

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