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Hustler [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]

4.8 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: May 17 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B004SEUJ7S
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Product Description

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.

Special Features

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.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
The Hustler (drama, romance, sport)
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.
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Format: DVD
This film has haunted me ever since I saw it (experienced it, really) for the first time in the mid-1960s. I was barely a teenager at that time (I'm 52 at this writing: 1-11-04), but despite my young years long ago, the film flooded my consciousness with unforgettable images and words of profound allegorical depth.
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
Is it possible to get much cooler than a film about shooting pool for money against legendary players? How about an achingly beautifully black and white film about shooting pool starring Paul Newman and George C. Scott? Newman is Fast Eddie Felson, a pool hustler who is defined right from his opening scene/hustle. His dream is to make it to the city to take on Minnisota Fats, the greatest straight pool player around. This is where the Hustler takes a turn from your average "Guy with a dream" story. It only takes about three scenes before Felson is playing against Fats, and beating him pretty badly too. Only this game goes until someone calls it quits, and Fats eventually wear down Felson over the course of a highly enjoyable (from the viewer's perspective) sequence of pool games. From there Felson's world crashes around him and he winds up taking sides with a big money man played by George C. Scott who teaches Felson why he lost and why he needs the killer instinct to win. But is this really the kind of instinct a guy like Felson wants to develop? With tight, refined filming, a wonderful script, and a cast that just keeps getting better, The Hustler is truly a great film and a wonderful movie.
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Format: VHS Tape
Hopelessly grandiose, Ed Felson heads east with a well heeled stooge. Hoping to embarass reigning pool champ Minnesota Fats, and yes, take his $$, they hustle the poor, the naive, and the handicapped. Once in NY, Eddie gets his shot...and blow it. Enter Burt Gordon ("I like the action"), who agrees to back Eddie in bigger and better things. Eddie meets a gorgeous waif who haunts the nearby bus station. She loves him. In Eddie she sees passion, dedication....things she herself lacks. Their tumultuous union ends as sadly as it began. Eddie realizes that he inflicted these tragedies by being a loser. He succeeds in undoing it, but its all for naught as the story ends with a it should. Probably one of the tn best American films ever made. But there's more: the powerhouse cast is awesome. Comedian Jackie Gleason puts forth an incredible portrayal of the loathesome Minnesota Fats. Gleason adds humanity to a character of mythic proportion. A wonderous and seemingly knowing study. Piper Laurie's portrayal of the terminally adolescent drunk with the high IQ and romantic perceptiveness is gripping. Her death seems wrong. George C. Scott's rendition of the Devil is, ofcourse, right on. What a man! Murray Hamilton's turn as a loser hoping for that one last break is sad and convincing. Newman's "Fast Eddie" is easily beleivable. In fact, he seems to regale in the part. As if it were tailor-made for him. The supporting cast are just as good. Sometimes even better. Jake LaMotta should've been an actor. The cinematography is awesome. They must've had the cameras on railroad tracks. Actually, I know they did. There is a scene in this film that is magical in its seamless movement. The decision to record in B/W was a good one. The story is dank, and disturbing. The B/W only enhances it. A great film on many levels.
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