Watch The Hustler
- 2 hr 14 min
The Hustler is a 1961 film directed by Robert Rossen, which stars Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason and Piper Laurie. It was based on a novel of the same name written by Walter Tevis. The movie's plot revolves around the life of "Fast Eddie" Felson (played by Newman), a young, talented and cocky pool player who wants to challenge the legendary Minnesota Fats (played by Gleason) for the title of the best pool player in the country. The Hustler is a powerful drama that deals with themes of ambition, love, addiction, betrayal and loss. The movie's opening scene shows Eddie and his partner, Charlie (Myron McCormick), arriving in a seedy pool hall in Pittsburgh, where Minnesota Fats is waiting for them. Eddie is brash, self-assured and full of confidence, believing that he can beat Fats and become the best pool player in the world. However, as the game goes on, Eddie realizes that he is outmatched by Fats' quiet, steady playing style and soon concedes defeat. Humiliated and defeated, Eddie decides to leave the pool hall, but not before meeting a troubled alcoholic, Sarah Packard (played by Laurie). Sarah is immediately attracted to Eddie's charm and confidence and convinces him to spend the night with her. Eddie, meanwhile, shows sympathy towards Sarah's drinking problem and the two form a troubled and complicated relationship. As the story progresses, Eddie meets a ruthless gambler named Bert Gordon (played by George C. Scott) who offers to be his manager and help him win big in pool tournaments. Bert is a manipulative man who sees potential in Eddie's talent and wants to exploit it for his own profit. Eddie agrees to work with Bert, but soon learns the harsh reality of gambling, as he spirals out of control into a deep cycle of alcoholism and despair. Meanwhile, Sarah, who had fallen in love with Eddie, tries to support him and help him out of his addiction, but she too is struggling with her own problems. The two characters are locked in a downward spiral of emotional and psychological trauma, trying to escape their own demons while still trying to maintain their love for each other. The Hustler is a gritty, realistic portrayal of life on the fringes of society, painting a vivid picture of the highs and lows of professional pool gambling in the 1960s. The movie's cinematography is stark and moody, and the performances by Newman, Gleason, and Laurie are exceptional. Newman in particular, shines in his role as Fast Eddie, conveying a charismatic but deeply flawed character with incredible depth and complexity. Overall, The Hustler is a classic and iconic film that has left a lasting impact on popular culture, inspiring sequels, spin-offs and countless other movies about the world of pool gambling. It is an intense, emotional and thought-provoking movie, that is sure to leave a indelible mark on anyone who watches it.