5.9/10
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Hustling (1975)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 22 February 1975
Based on Gail Sheehy's book, this film chronicles how a reporter for a New York City magazine decided to investigate the city's prostitution industry to find out just who was making all the... See full summary »

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Fran Morrison
... Orin Dietrich
... Wanda
... Swifty
... Dee Dee
Beverly Hope Atkinson ... Giselle
... Keogh
... Gustavino
... Lester Traube
... Geist
... Harold Levine
... Bus Driver
James Andronica ... Van Patrolman
... Detective
Clifford A. Pellow ... Business Suit (as Cliff Pellow)
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Storyline

Based on Gail Sheehy's book, this film chronicles how a reporter for a New York City magazine decided to investigate the city's prostitution industry to find out just who was making all the money. What she found out caused a firestorm of controversy--that many of the city's richest and most powerful families and corporations benefited directly and indirectly from the illegal sex business. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The girls, the cops, the cheap hotels, the twilight world of ... Hustling

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 February 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La storia di Wanda  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jill Clayburgh found out her agent at the time was actually pushing someone else for the role. She found another agent, got the role and received her first Emmy nomination. See more »

Goofs

When Fran's article is finally published, closeup of magazine cover does not contain a price, date or any other information always found on cover. See more »

Quotes

Fran Morrison: A thousand prostitutes! Do you have any solutions?
Keogh: Sure! Every commuter should take one home.
See more »

Connections

References The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Made for TV Melodrama
29 July 2010 | by See all my reviews

"Hustling" was made for TV in 1975, back when "Movies of the Week" were more of an "Event" and were taken more seriously than they are today. I'd be willing to bet that whatever network first aired this film, probably preceded it with ads saying that it was "Ripped from the headlines" or "The Shocking True Story..." It obviously worked, as I understand the film won several Emmy Awards. 35 years after the fact, "Hustling" is still a decent, although a bit dry, melodrama.

Considering that I found this film on a budget-priced DVD collection called "GREAT BAD GIRL MOVIES," I was hoping for something a little more sleazy/exploitative than what I got. No such luck. "Hustling" turned out to be a pretty straightforward drama, with the basic message being "Hey, prostitutes are people too, man." Lee Remick (pre-"The Omen") stars as a reporter for a major New York magazine who wants to write an expose on the prostitution problem in the Times Square area, which at the time was reaching critical mass. She befriends a reluctant veteran hooker named Wanda (Jill Clayburgh, whose Noo Yawk accent is so thick you can cut it with a steak knife) and uses her as her 'source' for the article, which causes problems for Wanda not only with the other "girls" but with her pimp, who doesn't want her discussing "the business" with an outsider. Of course, since this is a made for TV film the language and action are mostly squeaky clean. The most suggestive dialogue you'll hear is a "prostie" suggesting to a john that he take "two girls" instead of just one, and the only violence is implied or happens offscreen. The upbeat ending is unrealistic and feels as if it were tacked on at the last minute. If this movie were made today, it would probably air on the Lifetime Channel and it would star Alyssa Milano as the reporter and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Wanda. (Y'know what? Now that I think about it, I'd watch that. Haha.)

So while "Hustling" was not exactly what I expected, it was still worth a look,, mainly for the way-cool shot-on-location scenes in the mean streets of New York City circa 1975. The city was a lot dirtier and scarier than it is nowadays. It's also fun to play "spot the character actor" with the supporting cast; you'll see such dependables as Alex Rocco, Burt Young, and even Howard Hesseman ("WKRP") in small roles. Trivia geeks alert, director Joseph Sargent directed multitudes of other TV movies and mini series throughout the '70s and '80s as well as the occasional theatrical film, including 1987's legendary disaster "Jaws: The Revenge!" If nothing else, "Hustling" is far superior to that famed turkey. Retro movie fans should get a few kicks from this dusty offering.


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