The Hustler (1961)


hustler“Maybe I’m not such a high-class piece of property right now. And a 25% slice of something big is better than a 100% slice of nothing. ” – Fast Eddie

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Mar 2015)

Brief Synopsis – A small time pool hustler tries to get into the big leagues by seeking out and challenging the best player around to a high stakes game of pool.

My Take on it – This is a famous movie that I’ve been avoiding for years because the premise just didn’t seem interesting enough to appeal to me.

It turns out my instincts were right because this just isn’t the kind of movie that I normally would like.

This movie has some very aggressive themes, but IMHO the slow pace ruins any effect garnered from those themes.

The main thing this movie has going for it is the combination of Paul Newman, George C. Scott and Jackie Gleason, but even their presence couldn’t help this movie be anything but mediocre in my eyes.

Bottom Line – Some interesting themes are explored here, but the movie drags on too much to be effective enough. Newman, Scott and Gleason are great as usual, but I just wasn’t very impressed with the final product. Just seemed very mediocre since it moves a bit too slow IMHO despite the fact that the characters are constantly trying to outmaneuver one another at the pool table.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – George C. Scott refused his Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category because he didn’t believe in actors competing against each other unless if were playing the exact same role. But when he lost the Best Supporting Actor Oscar to George Chakiris in West Side Story (1961), it essentially started for good the actor’s longstanding feud with the Academy over the fact that political decisions were involved in the choice of who won. This ultimately led to Scott rejecting the Oscar he won in 1970 for his performance in Patton (1970) (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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10 thoughts on “The Hustler (1961)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. This was the very first time I ever saw Paul Newman in a film. I watched it with my Dad as it’s one of his favourites, and thinking back, I was probably way too young, but it’s a special one for me. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Rob!

    Liked by 1 person

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