The Hustler: Sometimes Winning Doesn't Mean Shit

Illustration for article titled The Hustler: Sometimes Winning Doesnt Mean Shit

If you haven't seen The Hustler yet, one of the best movies in the history of cinema, please don't delay it anymore. This movie will leave you in awe from beginning to end. And while you are at it, have a whiskey or two.


Being one of Paul Newman's best performances ever—if not the best—is enough reason to watch this 1961's dark drama of losers and losers. But when you add Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie at their very best, with a perfect script and direction by Robert Rossen, it's just impossible to avoid.

Everything is perfect in this story of a young pool hustler—Fast Eddie, Newman—who tries to take on a legendary pool player—Minnesota Fats, Gleason—and ends associated with a gangstery figure—Bert Gordon, Scott—in order to make it big at any cost... just to discover that winning doesn't mean shit. The characters, the razorsharp dialogue and the silences, the cinematography, everything in this masterpiece clicks to shake your body, break your fingers, and punch your face repeatedly.


It's heartbreaking, yet exhilarating because of its intensity and perfection. And the pool playing scenes are fun (all of them performed by the Newman and Gleason except one trick shot).

If you watched it a long time ago, you will enjoy it even more if you watch it again. [Netflix, iTunes, Amazon]

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Also should be mentioned is the follow-up billiards movie, "The Color Of Money", with Tom Cruise in addition to Paul Newman.