Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Hustler

Dir: Robert Rossen, 1961, bw (8.2*)

Best Picture (BAA)
This gritty black and white classic follows the rise of pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson, in one of Paul Newman’s best roles. His nemesis is Minnesota Fats, expertly portrayed by Jackie Gleason, who made all his own pool shots, and deserved at least an Oscar nomination. World champ Willie Moscone was there to do the real tricky stuff when all you see are hands. Piper Laurie is also excellent as Felson’s romance, as is George C. Scott as his manager. Has to be the best pool film ever, garnering 9 Oscar® nominations. The Color of Money was a later sequel, winning Newman his only acting Oscar®, but was barely connected to this classic in either style or realism, opting for easy commercial appeal. 2 Oscars®


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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