It tells the story of small-time pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson and his desire to break into the "major league" of professional hustling and high-stakes wagering by high-rollers that follows it. He throws his raw talent and ambition up against the best player in the country, seeking to best the legendary pool player " Minnesota Fats ".
After initially losing to Fats and getting involved with unscrupulous manager Bert Gordon, Eddie returns to try again, but only after paying a terrible personal price.
The Hustler was a major critical and popular success, gaining a reputation as a modern classic. Its exploration of winning, losing, and character garnered a number of major awards; it is also credited with helping to spark a resurgence in the popularity of pool. Small-time pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson travels cross-country with his partner Charlie to challenge the legendary player "Minnesota Fats".
He sends out a runner, Preacher, to Johnny's Bar, ostensibly for whiskey, but really to get professional gambler Bert Gordon
Hustler the movie the hall. Fats agrees to continue after Bert labels Eddie a "loser. At their hotel later, Eddie leaves half of the remaining stake with a sleeping Charlie and leaves.
Eddie stashes his belongings at the local bus terminal, where he meets Sarah Packard, an alcoholic who Hustler the movie supported by her father, attends Hustler the movie part-time, and walks with a limp.
He meets her again at a bar. They go back to her place but she refuses to let him in, saying he is "too hungry". Eddie moves into Hustler the movie rooming house and starts hustling for small stakes. He finds Sarah again and this time she takes him in, but with reservations.
Charlie finds Eddie at Sarah's and tries to persuade him to go back out on the road. Eddie refuses and Charlie realizes he plans to challenge Fats again. Eddie realizes that Charlie held out his percentage and becomes enraged, believing that with that money he could have rebounded to beat Fats.
Eddie dismisses Charlie as a scared old man and tells him to Hustler the movie lie down and die" by himself. Afterward, Bert tells Eddie that he has talent as a pool player but no character. Eddie humiliates a local pool sharkexposing himself as a hustler, and the other players punish him by breaking his thumbs.
As he heals, Sarah cares for him and tells him she loves him, but he cannot say the words in return. Bert, Eddie, and Sarah travel to the Kentucky Derbywhere Bert arranges a match for Eddie against a wealthy local socialite named Findley.
The game turns out to be three-cushion billiardsnot pool. When Eddie loses badly, Bert refuses to keep staking him. Sarah pleads with Eddie to leave with her, saying that the world he is living in and its inhabitants are "perverted, twisted, and crippled"; he refuses. Bert arrives "Hustler the movie" and sexually assaults Sarah.
Eddie arrives back at the hotel to learn that she has killed herself. He wins game after game, beating Fats so badly that Fats is forced to quit.
Bert demands a share of Eddie's winnings and threatens that Eddie will be injured unless he pays. But Eddie says that if he is not killed he will kill Bert when he recovers; invoking the memory of Sarah, he shames Bert into giving up his claim. Instead, Bert orders Eddie never to walk into a big-time pool hall again. Eddie and Fats compliment each other as players, and Eddie walks out.
The Tevis novel had been optioned several times, including by Frank Sinatrabut attempts to adapt it for the screen were unsuccessful.
Director Rossen's daughter Carol Rossen speculates that previous adaptations focused too much on the pool aspects of the story and not enough on the human interaction. Rossen, who had hustled pool himself as a youth and who had made an abortive attempt to write a pool-themed play called Corner Pocketoptioned the book and teamed with Sidney Carroll to produce the script.
The film crew built a dining area that was so realistic that confused passengers sat there and waited to place their orders.
All of Gleason's shots were his own; they were filmed in wide-angle to emphasize having the actor and the shot in the same frames. Early shooting put more focus on the pool playing, but during filming Rossen made Hustler the movie decision to place more emphasis on the love story between Newman and Laurie's characters.
For example, when Eddie is playing Findley, Eddie is positioned below Hustler the movie in a two shot but above Findley while still below Bert in a three shot. When Sarah enters the room, she is below Eddie in two shot while in a three shot Eddie is still below Bert.
When Eddie is kneeling over Sarah's body, Bert again appears above him but Eddie attacks Bert, ending up on top of him. Eddie finally appears above Bert in two shot when Eddie returns to beat Fats.
The Hustler is fundamentally a story of what it means to be a human being, couched within the context of winning and losing. The film was also somewhat autobiographical for Rossen, relating to his dealings with the House Un-American Activities Committee. A screenwriter during the s and '40s, he had been involved with the Communist Party in the s and refused to name names at his first HUAC appearance.
Ultimately he changed his mind and
Hustler the movie friends and colleagues as party members. Similarly, Felson sells his soul and betrays the one person who really knows and loves him in a Faustian pact to gain character.
Film and theatre historian Ethan Mordden has identified The Hustler as one of a handful of films from the early s that re-defined the relationship of films to their audiences. This new relationship, he writes, is "one of challenge rather than flattery, of doubt rather than certainty.
The Hustler had its world premiere in Washington, D. Prior Hustler the movie the premiere, Richard Burton hosted a midnight screening of the film for the casts of the season's Broadway shows, which generated a great deal of positive word of mouth.
The film was well received by critics, although with the occasional reservation. Variety praised the performances of the entire main cast but felt that the "sordid aspects" of the story prevented the film from achieving the "goal of being pure entertainment. Stanley Kauffmannwriting for The New Republicconcurred in part with this assessment. Kauffmann strongly praised "Hustler the movie" principal cast, calling Newman "first-rate" and writing that Scott's was "his most credible performance to date.
While he found that the script "strains hard to give an air of menace and criminality to the pool hall" and also declares it "full of pseudo-meaning", Kauffmann lauds Rossen's "sure, economical" direction, especially in regard to Gleason who, he says, does not so much act as "[pose] for a number of pictures which are well arranged by Rossen.
The Hustler received nine Academy Award nominations.
Laurie was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role. In the decades since its release, The Hustler has cemented its reputation as a classic. Roger Ebertechoing earlier praise for the performances, direction, and cinematography and adding laurels for editor Dede Allencites the film as "one of those films where scenes have such psychic weight that they grow in our A number of observers and critics have suggested that this Oscar was in belated recognition for his performance in The Hustler.
The Hustler was acknowledged as the sixth best film in the sports genre. The Hustler is credited with sparking a resurgence in the popularity of pool in the United States, Hustler the movie had been on the decline for decades.
Mosconi claimed in an interview at the time of the film's release that the character of Minnesota Fats was based on Wanderone, who at the time was known as "New York Fatty".
Wanderone immediately adopted the Minnesota Fats nickname and parlayed his association with the film into book and television deals and other ventures. Author Walter Tevis denied for the rest of his life that Wanderone had played any role in the creation of the character. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved April 14, New Castle PA News.
Uniontown PA Morning Herald. The Hustler the movie Story film. The New York Times. Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Archived from the original on British Academy of Film and Television Awards. National Board of of Motion Pictures. New York Hustler the movie Critics Circle. Writers Guild of America. The Library of Congress Information Bulletin. Writers Guild of America West. Films by Robert Rossen. The Undercover Man Gladiator The Lord of the Rings: Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote.
Like a traditional morality play; teens and up. Read Common Sense Media's The Hustler review, age rating, and parents guide. There are only a handful of movie characters so real that the audience The pool shark played by Paul Newman in "The Hustler" () is.