Classic Film Tuesday: The Hustler

1961 – Drama, Romance

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Tuesday, May 15

  • 1:00pm

THE  HUSTLER

“Newman is better than usual; Gleason, as the slit-mouthed, beady-eyed Minnesota Fats, darts among the shabby little pool sharks like an improbably agile and natty whale; and Gambler Scott looks as though he could sell hot-air heat to the devil.” – TIME Magazine

As The Hustler’s “Fast” Eddie Felson, Paul Newman created a classic antihero, charismatic but fundamentally flawed, and nobody’s role model. A pool player from Oakland, CA, as good as anyone who ever picked up a cue, Eddie has an Achilles’ heel: arrogance. It’s not enough for him to win: he must force his opponent to acknowledge his superiority. The movie follows Eddie from his match against billiards champ Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) as he falls in love with Sarah (Piper Laurie), an alcoholic would-be writer and sometime prostitute, and falls under the spell of Bert Gordon (George C. Scott), a successful gambler who offers to take Eddie under his wing and teach him how to play in the big time. However, when Sarah joins Eddie and Bert on a trip to Louisville for a high-stakes match with a dandy named Findlay (Murray Hamilton), the consequences prove tragic. Along with a classic performance by Newman, The Hustler also features turns by Scott, Laurie, and Gleason, in a rare dramatic role.

Genre: Drama, Romance    Rating: NR    Runtime: 134 min      Language: English

Sponsored by: The Dr. Joseph F. Karpinski Sr. Foundation