7.2/10
42,872
174 user 82 critic

Hard Eight (1996)

Sydney (original title)
Trailer
1:43 | Trailer
Professional gambler Sydney teaches John the tricks of the trade. John does well until he falls for cocktail waitress Clementine.
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Popularity
4,425 ( 391)
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Baker Hall ... Sydney
John C. Reilly ... John
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Clementine
Samuel L. Jackson ... Jimmy
F. William Parker ... Hostage
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Young Craps Player (as Phillip Seymour Hoffman)
Nathanael Cooper Nathanael Cooper ... Restroom Attendant
Wynn White Wynn White ... Waitress
Robert Ridgely ... Keno Bar Manager
Kathleen Campbell Kathleen Campbell ... Keno Girl
Michael J. Rowe Michael J. Rowe ... Pit Boss
Peter D'Allesandro Peter D'Allesandro ... Bartender
Steve Blane Steve Blane ... Stickman
Xaleese Xaleese ... Cocktail Waitress
Melora Walters ... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When good luck is a long shot, you have to hedge your bets. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Thomas Anderson wanted the film to open with just the production company info, "a P.T. Anderson picture", and the title, with no other credits. In order for this to happen, all members of the cast and crew must agree to waive their main-credit right. Producer Robert Jones did not consent, so the movie has full opening credits. See more »

Goofs

When Sydney and Clementine are drinking coffee in the diner, Clementine's cigarette switches from her right to her left hand between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sydney: Hey. Hey!
John: [raises his head] What?
Sydney: You want a cup of coffee? You want a cigarette?
John: [groggily] What?
Sydney: I'm a guy that's offering to give you a cigarette... buy you a cup of coffee.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Iron Man 3 Special (2013) 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 Julia2See 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Eight See more »

Filming Locations:

Sparks, Nevada, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,486, 2 March 1997

Gross USA:

$222,559

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$222,559
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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