The Hustler
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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
"Under Robert Rossen's strong direction, its ruthless and odorous account of one young hustler's eventual emancipation is positive and alive."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"A crackling good morality tale"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"A raft of excellent performances buoy a fervent tale of weakness and success."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"Director Rossen presses all the right buttons in this classic dark masterpiece, and the atmosphere of the pool halls is brilliantly conveyed by Shufton's black-and-white CinemaScope photography."
‑ , Film4
"The Hustler belongs to that school of screen realism that allows impressive performances but defeats the basic goal of pure entertainment."
‑ , Variety
"One of the most compelling character-based films to emerge from the decade of the 1960s."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"So much more than the ups and downs of one pool player--It's shot in a very realistic way and deals with inner conflict and what it means to be a man."
‑ Eric Melin, Scene-Stealers.com
"Like a traditional morality play; teens and up."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Eddie's true modern progeny is There Will Be Blood's Daniel Plainview, drinking bitter milkshakes since 1961."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"A wonderful hymn to the last true era when men of substance played pool with a vengeance."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"The Hustler is one of those films where scenes have such psychic weight that they grow in our memories."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"This is one of Newman's very best films, if not his best, even if it's relentlessly depressing."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"An extraordinarily accomplished noir drama about pool, with top notch peformance from Paul Newman as the jaded player and exemplary supporting cast headed by Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, and Jackie Gleason."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"shows timeless struggle and is a classic in cinema"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
More reviews for The Hustler on Rotten Tomatoes

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