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JakeHolman

'The Hustler': THR's 1961 Review

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2 hours ago, JakeHolman said:

movie with excellent acting ... gleason was good ...

Gleason should have gotten the Supporting Oscar for this one.  Also one of Newman's best performances.

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6 hours ago, JakeHolman said:

movie with excellent acting ... gleason was good ...

Superb film in every single way & back then most Oscar pundits predicted Newman to win Best Actor but as  you  know *Maximilian Schell in Judgment at Nuremberg upset him   But his could be argued a supporting role and The Great: Tracy was the real lead  Exact  same thing happened to him for Hud (l963) about 90% pf oddsmakers were certain Paul would win, however Holywood went to *Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field instead & that is far from Poitier's best works either, a nice little film, but his finest hrs in my opinion are A Raisin in the Sun & The Defiant 0nes (nom.)

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Love when you fans submit clips   Many were letdown when Gleason didn't have cameo 25yrs later in The Color of Money  However, the real Fats was nothing like his take on it, loud, yelling, intimidating,   When I was a teenager he & Willie Mosconi would always play on Wide World of Sports (late 1970's)

& Willie would usually defeat  him too Ralph Kramden, I mean Jackie Gleason did almost all of his shots as well  He portrayed him as Mr. cool didn't he

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& yet another role *Sinatra wanted Fast Eddie Felson  It was only able to take home Academy Gold for B/W Art-direction and B/W Cinematography, that was a strong year at the cinema '61  

*Francis Albert also wanted to play Terry Malloy in *Waterfront-(shot actually in Hoboken, NJ)-(this started his hatred for *Brando, which continued w/Guys and Dolls, *Frank wanted Sky Masterson inst guess who won  out & portrayed that role

Then *FS wanted Some Like It Hot (l959) & he even strangely yrs later wanted in on La Cage Aux Folles, not exactly his normal material  

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On the subject of The Great 0ne (TRIVIA: *Orson Welles & then Lucy started that nickname)

 

Anybody have the stunningly stupid yet must be seen clip of him tripping out on LSD in'68's Skidoo  (*-out of 4) Groucho's even in it I have it saved somewhere, think you can get it on Youtube

 

Not his worst movie though  I think that honor goes to Smokey & the Bandit, III (l980)

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As someone who's spent WAY too much time in pool rooms, I always thought that The Hustler was an overrated movie in terms of realism. Getting down to specifics, Paul Newman's pool stroke was to a real pool player about what Gary Cooper's batting swing was to Lou Gehrig's----jerky and awkward.  If I'd never set foot in a pool room I probably wouldn't have noticed, but I can't stuff the genie back into the bottle.

Jackie Gleason, however, was an actual pool player of fair reputation in real life, and it shows. Gleason and George C. Scott, along with the interior shots of Ames, were The Hustler's saving graces.  As for the subplot with Newman and Piper Laurie, it was just a distraction, whereas the relationship between Tom Cruise and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in The Color of Money was much closer to the sort of relationships I've observed among the many road players I've known.

As an aside, it's too bad Fred Astaire wasn't in his 20's when The Hustler came out, as he was always considered by far the best cue artist among actors.  One of the reasons I liked The Color of Money more than The Hustler is because the cast included so many actual pool players, including one I've played against (and lost to, of course), Keith "Earthquake" McCready, whose "Grady Seasons" delivered the memorable "It's like a nightmare" line.

In hindsight, though, the best thing about both of those movies is that 25 years apart, they each spurred a revival of pool.  I only wish Hollywood could come up with another film that would rescue American pool from its current state of doldrums.

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On 9/25/2019 at 6:24 PM, spence said:

Superb film in every single way & back then most Oscar pundits predicted Newman to win Best Actor but as  you  know *Maximilian Schell in Judgment at Nuremberg upset him   But his could be argued a supporting role and The Great: Tracy was the real lead  Exact  same thing happened to him for Hud (l963) about 90% pf oddsmakers were certain Paul would win, however Holywood went to *Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field instead & that is far from Poitier's best works either, a nice little film, but his finest hrs in my opinion are A Raisin in the Sun & The Defiant 0nes (nom.)

At the time, Newman stated that if he had to lose the Oscar for Hud, he was glad it went to Poitier.  Personally, I think Hud is one of his 3 best performances, along with The Hustler and The Verdict.

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