April 18, 2015
Movie Night: The Hustler.
Review #702: The Hustler.
Paul Newman (Eddie Felson), Jackie Gleason (Minnesota Fats), Piper Laurie (Sarah Packard), George C. Scott (Bert Gordon), Myron McCormick (Charlie), Murray Hamilton (Findley), and Michael Constantine (Big John) Directed by Robert Rossen.
Winners are not always who we think they are. To some, it's the only thing, or the will to win for others. Alternatively, one might say it's not winning or losing that matters, it's how you played the game. But with this movie, being a winner and a loser is not based on how they compete, it is based on how they are as a person. If you want a movie that pulls no punches, a movie that shows both the grim realities of life and a game of pool, then this is the one for you. Newman does a wonderful job, showcasing his complexities of emotion and character depth along with some nice trick shots. His pairing with Laurie makes for an interesting splice with the pool action, and it makes the movie more whole because it gives the film more depth. Speaking of which, Gleason does a great job as well, and even though you don't see him for most of the film, his presence always seems to be felt, and it is welcome when you see him appear. Lastly, Scott is just great. Brutally effective while also playing his role as only Scott would play him: Efficient. This is a movie that may seem long, but it really makes for fine entertainment while also being a look into what makes one a winner, which this movie is.
Overall, I give it 10 out of 10 stars.