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The Hustler (1961)

The Hustler 


134 minutes

Biography / Drama / Romance / Sport

Directed by Robert Rossen

Paul Newman as 'Fast Eddie' Felson
Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats
Piper Laurie as Sarah Packard
George C. Scott as Bert Gordon
Myron McCormick as Charlie
Murray Hamilton as Findley
Stefan Gierasch as Preacher
Michael Constantine as Big John 
Clifford A. Pellow as Turk  
Jake LaMotta as Bartender 
Gordon B. Clarke as Cashier 
Alexander Rose as Scorekeeper 
Carolyn Coates as Waitress 
Carl York as Young Hustler 
Vincent Gardenia as Bartender 
Willie Mosconi as Pool Shark

The Hustler trailer

'Fast Eddie' Felson is a go-getter when it comes to pool and arrives in Ames with his partner Charlie to compete against 'Minnesota Fats'. Eddie announces that he will win $10,000 that day and Fats decides to play him for $200 a game. At first Eddie is losing and then gets in the lead where he proposes to play $1,000 a game. Fats takes the offer and has Preacher find Bert Gordon, a professional gambler. Eddie is in the lead by $11,000 and Charlie feels it is best to leave the game at that, but Eddie continues to play wanting Fats to end the game. Fats does not end the game, for Bert advises him to keep playing. After a full day of playing, Eddie is winning by $18,000, yet loses all but $200. He leaves Charlie the remaining of the money when he is asleep and leaves.

Eddie then encounters Sarah Packard, a young girl with a drinking problem who walks with a limp. He finds her again at a bar and they go home together, yet she does not invite him in. Eddie finds a place to stay and begins hustling again. He encounters Sarah again and stays at her place.  Charlie finally catches up to Eddie and tries to convince him to travel again. Eddie does not like the idea, but Charlie contrives a way to compete against Fats once again. Eddie discovers Charlie withheld some of the money that could have been used to win against Fats. He wants nothing to do with Charlie after that. 

Eddie encounters Bert at Johnny's Bar, where Eddie loses $20. Bert advices Eddie that he is a skillful player, but no personality. From there they begin to work with another, but problems arise when Sarah advices him to quit the game. She is not fond of the people, such as Bert surrounding him. Bert does not like this and sexually abuses Sarah. This results in her killing herself. Eddie ends up playing Fats again and wins. He gives nothing to Bert for what he did to Sarah. 

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