What most people probably don't know about this film is that it is actually a sequal to 1961's The Hustler. This is an important fact about this film. It makes the movie a much better film than if it just stands alone. Paul Newman reprises his role of pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson, this time under the direction of Martin Scorsese, some 23 years after making The Hustler. The audience joins Felson at this point is his life too. Long gone are his days off pool huslin', now Felson is a traveling liquir salesman with a close relationship with his product. Then something happens. One night at the bar/poolhall where he frequents, Felson sees a kid(Tom Cruise) tearing up his opponents on the pool table. He is very impressed. He decides to get back in the game, this time as a manager(similar to the cahracter George C. Scott played in The Hustler). Now all he has to do is convince Cruise and his girlfriend(Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) to hit the road with him. He does, and they set out. The goal being to make it to Vegas for a big money tournament. The partnership turns out to be a bust almost from the get go. Cruise, a brilliant player, can't seem to swallow his pride enough to take the dive essential for hustlin', and Eddie is not quite as good at being a teacher as he was a student. They split and Eddie decides it is time to start playing again. In one of the films best moments he gets hustled by a young Forrest Whitaker, while he is trying to hustle Whitaker. Eventually Eddie makes to Vegas where he has a showdown with Cruise in the semifinals. The acting, directing, and cinematography in this film easily make up for it's lack of script. Paul Newman is flawless as Fast Eddie. He took a Oscar nominated performance, aged him 23 years, and turned it into Oscar gold. He spins a whole new chapter in the life of a character he had already performed so well. Perhaps this character was not even difficult to play, but he carries the film and is definatly it's biggest attraction. Cruise is also fun to watch. An up-and-comer at this point in his career(after Risky Business, before Top Gun) he plays young and dumb with great enthusiasm. Mastrantonio received and Oscar nomination for her tough girl role. Scorsese shows us the game of pool as only he could show it to us. Addtionally unique camera and lighting shots add to the appeal of the film. Before seeing this film people should see The Hustler. It is a superior film to The Color of Money. However after seeing The Hustler audiences will have a whole new appriciation for The Color of Money. It becomes apparent how special Newman's evolution of Felson is, and that is rare in film.