Hustler [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
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Paul Newman shines as cocky poolroom hustler "Fast" Eddie Felson in Robert Rossen's atmospheric adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel. Newman's Felson is a swaggering pool shark punk who takes on the king of the poolroom, Minnesota Fats (a cool, assured Jackie Gleason in his most understated performance). After losing big and crashing into a void of self-pity, Eddie meets down-and-out Sarah (Piper Laurie in a delicate performance), an alcoholic blue blood who's dropped into Eddie's world of dingy bars and seedy poolrooms. Eddie regains his confidence and attracts the attention of a shifty, calculating promoter, Bert Gordon (George C. Scott at his most heartless), who offers to bring Eddie into the big money--but at what cost? Rossen brings his film to life with the easy pace of a pool game, giving his actors room to explore their characters and develop into a razor-sharp ensemble. Eugen Schüfftan earned an Academy Award for his shadowing black-and-white cinematography, as did art directors Harry Horner and Gene Callahan for their deceivingly simple set designs. Even in the daylight this film seems to be smothered by night, lit by the dim glow of a bar lamp or the overhead glare of a pool-table light, an appropriate environment for this tale of one man's struggle with his soul and his self-esteem. Newman returned as an older, wiser, cagier Felson 25 years later in Martin Scorsese's Color of Money. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the DVD edition.
The DVD debut of this landmark drama is exceptional. Besides a luminous widescreen transfer and picture-in-picture deconstruction of the pool shots by billiards master Mike Massey, the commentary track is unique--and we hope starts a new trend. Film historian Jeff Young hosts an oral history of the film from a variety of sources including Paul Newman, legendary editor Dede Allen (who nearly steals the show), assistant director Ulu Grosbard, Time magazine critic Richard Schickel, and director Robert Rossen's daughter, Carol. The result is a free-following collection of memories created decades after the film wrapped (and many of the key players have died). Don't want the fine details? The new 25-minute documentary hits the major points with expertise. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Directed by Robert Rossen
Starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie and George C. Scott
20th Century Fox | 1961 | 134 min | Rated R | Released May 17, 2011
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.34:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: DTS 5.1
German: DTS 5.1
Portuguese: DTS 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc (digibook)
The Hustler was nominated for nine Oscars, winning for cinematography and art direction for a black and white film. The four main actors deservedly received nominations, although George C. Scott refused his. It was the second nomination for Newman, the first of three for Piper Laurie and Jackie Gleason's only nomination. The film deserved the recognition, but West Side Story ended up with 10 Oscars that year. Newman received an honorary Oscar in 1986 and won a best supporting actor Oscar a year later when he reprised the role of Eddie Felson in The Color of Money.
The film is quite complex. Although a sports movie on the surface, there's a strong romantic element. The story is essentially about strength of character. What would you do to get what you want in life? What if it means hurting people close to you? Is the goal worth the sacrifices? And, most important of all, how do we define success?
Newman was an emerging force in 1961, but his popularity hadn't reached its peak. His portrayal of Eddie Felson was convincing.Read more ›
The Hustler uses the game of pool as a visual metaphor to represent the "survival of the fittest" realities that we all must face every day in order to live and to thrive on this planet. Some of us play well. Some of us play only well enough to get by. Some of us cheat by preying on and attaching ourselves to those who do play well. And some of us fail to acquire (or simply lose) the necessary abilities to play well enough to survive. All of this is shown brilliantly in The Hustler.
Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) is an artistic genius whose medium is the game of pool. He plays for the sheer joy of the play itself, making seemingly impossible and awe-inspiring shots that transcend the cold and calculated shots of those who, as Eddie puts it, "play it safe". Eddie has no respect for "playing it safe" because to him such an approach to play violates the aesthetic that he seeks.
Unfortunately, his need for the aesthetic also blinds him to the realities of human frailty. Enter Sarah Packard (Piper Laurie in an extremely moving and unforgettable performance). Sarah, an extremely intelligent, emotionally wounded, and poignantly sensitive woman - also an alcoholic - falls in love with Eddie. What Eddie doesn't realize until it's too late is that he loves her, too.
Eddie in his self-absorption is also blind to the psychological predators who connect themselves to the game of pool for the sole purpose of making huge sums of money.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Good movie about hard time where gambling was the only way out; this movie will give you a thrill and at the end it will show you how costly is the situation. I recommend it!!!Published 5 months ago by sab
THE HUSTLER  [Limited Edition SteelBook] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] It Delves Without Compromise Into The Hungers That Lie Deep Within Us All! Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2014 by Amazon Customer
Good story line although not one of my favourite classics. This is Jackie Gleeson as I had never seen him. Read morePublished on June 1 2014 by lcd
Splendid young Newman with an ageing Jackie Gleason on a rampage at the pool table.Redford has not yet arrived but there are clues to what might be in the wings. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2013 by Naamshui
Paul Newman was great in this film. The story is also captivating, it shows that there is no easy way to earn a living.Published on Sept. 27 2013 by Sandra Trogi
Really the only way to describe this movie. I saw it when I was a kid and it was one of those movies that stuck with me. Read morePublished on June 22 2013 by JT
With or without the Oscar, this is one of the greatest American films ever made in any genre. George C. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Mark