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Hard Eight (1996)

Sydney (original title)
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1:43 | Trailer

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Professional gambler Sydney teaches John the tricks of the trade. John does well until he falls for cocktail waitress Clementine.
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sydney
... John
... Clementine
... Jimmy
... Hostage
... Young Craps Player (as Phillip Seymour Hoffman)
Nathanael Cooper ... Restroom Attendant
Wynn White ... Waitress
... Keno Bar Manager
Kathleen Campbell ... Keno Girl
Michael J. Rowe ... Pit Boss
Peter D'Allesandro ... Bartender
Steve Blane ... Stickman
Xaleese ... Cocktail Waitress
... Jimmy's Girl
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Storyline

John has lost all his money. He sits outside a diner in the desert when Sydney happens along, buys him coffee, then takes him to Reno and shows him how to get a free room without losing much money. Under Sydney's fatherly tutelage, John becomes a successful small-time professional gambler, and all is well, until he falls for Clementine, a cocktail waitress and sometimes hooker. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you stay in the game long enough, you'll see everything, win everything, and lose everything. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hard Eight  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,486, 2 March 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$222,559
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening theme music was the same music used in Boogie Nights (1997) when Dirk gets jumped in the parking lot. See more »

Goofs

At 30. The crap table that Sydney walks by players cheering but the cover (lid) and count slip on top. If it were a real game there would be no cover See more »

Quotes

Sydney: [at the cocktail lounge] Tell me something. Are you required to flirt, to behave as you do toward that table of men over there? Maybe... it's some part of your job?
Clementine: Uh, they don't say to do it.
Sydney: But if you don't?
Clementine: Well, then I get questioned, like: "Why were so rude to them?", and, I mean, I can't talk back. I can't tell them to fuck off and leave me alone.
Sydney: As a rule?
Clementine: I'd also lose the tip.
See more »

Connections

References Saboteur (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Country's Cool
Written by Jim Jacobsen (uncredited)
Courtesy OGM/Old Georg Music, Hollywood, California
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User Reviews

 
Beautiful!
26 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

Philip Baker Hall's Sidney kept me riveted from the first scene to the last. He play the mesmerizing, enigmatic title character with rare mastery and grace. The supporting characters are no slouches either. John C. Reilly is marvelous as Sidney's sweet, if somewhat slow witted protege. Samuel Jackson could have easily coasted on this one, simply repeating a performance from any of a number of previous tough guy types. Instead he creates an entirely new character, one with a reptilian quality not seen in his usual thugs. Even Gwenyth Paltrow is unusually strong as Clem, the waitress who wants it understood that, even if she sometimes sleeps with men for money, she is definitely NOT a prostitute.

I've been a fan of PT Anderson for a while now, and this film gave me new insight into why it is I like him so much. Anderson is that great rarity in modern filmmaking, an actor's director. He gathers terrific actors and inspires them to career-topping performances. There's no fiendishly complex plot here, no nailbiting suspense, no big payoff at the end. Just marvelous actors making the most of an excellent script.


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