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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Then and now,
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hustler (1961),
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hustler [VHS] (VHS Tape)If it was perceived by the critical fraternity that Paul Newman was more impressive in The Colour of Money, The Hustler's sequel, then a great travesty has been done. Coupled of course with the loss of this film, in the best picture stakes, to West-Side Story.
The Hustler was Robert Rossen's cinematic masterpiece, and for all the stylistics and photography employed, it is the contest of pool talent over self-assurance that makes the lasting impression. Newman sneers, barks and grins his way through a consistently impressive script with deadbeat conviction, all the while teetering on the brink of Rossen's stark landscapes, and infinitely cynical world.
Newman is at times breathtaking as 'Fast' Eddy Felson, a young and talented pool hustler in search of the holy-grail, the legendary Minnesota Fats. He plays a hustler with aplomb, he roars anger and he whimpers in defeat.
A strong supporting performance from Piper Laurie, adds a romantic interest, and ultimately highlights the importance of love over the all-mighty dollar. George C. Scott impresses as a sociopath gambling-addict, and yet somehow Newman is the only one you see. Piper Laurie's melodramatic character traits threaten to upstage, but it's Newman all the way.
Jammed full of quotable lines, this film sometimes risks losing itself in the moment, but it is the very excellent script, and Newman's performance as one of the greatest anti-heroes to date, that sets this aside as one of the greatest post-noir achievements of our times. Whatever you think of West-Side Story there is no denying the more enduring of the two, or indeed the more affecting. Whatever you think of West Side Story, this is glorious.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hustlers of pool and life,
But he can’t reach glory only supported by his narrowminded, short sight and modest financial mate, superbly played by Myron McCormick And so, only three people understands Eddie: one is Sarah, a tormented neurotic and lonely girl without love. Sarah, a sensible person, has the intuition Bert Gordon is a cruel man who likes to destroy people which has capacities he’s unable to attain. The third person is paradoxically Minnesota Fats, the other most extraordinary player of pool, and the most hard adversary of Eddie, but truly a loyal enemy, mostly a colleague. All that in a dramatic, even tragic but quiet mood and superb black& white photography.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul Newman at his best ( as ever!! ),
During my earlier years I was somewhat of a pool fanatic and frequently visited the nearest pool table to me. The film came on late night television and I was late getting up the next day but it was oh so worth it! This is what lead me to searching out a copy of my very own. The acting is superb, almost enigmatic of Paul Newman, the story brilliant and moving, the pool is awe inspiring and the DVD is not bad at all either. With a few extras including a demonstration of all the trick shots used in the film, performed by the world trick shot champion, this is not one to be missed. The semi true story of Fast Eddie Felson is essential viewing for any fan of the green baize and a great film besides. Well worth the money and I'm sure a worthy addition to anyone's DVD collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book & DVD,
This review is from: The Hustler - Book & DVD (DVD)Ordered the Book & DVD combo. Great price and great idea. How many times have you seen a movie based on a book and wanted to read the book to see if it was better than the film? For less than the price of the book alone you can get both the book and the movie based on it. Even though I'm in the states, I can play region 2 dvd's on a region free dvd player and save a lot of money ordering them from amazon.co.uk.
Cheers from the US!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...One Ball...Corner Pocket...",
This review is from: The Hustler [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2011 BLU RAY REISSUE - UK Standard Issue and the US 'Book Pack' Version ***
Back in the mists of 2008 - I reviewed the 1951 Sci-Fi classic "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and the UK-Only DVD series it belonged to - 20th Century Fox's "Cinema Reserve" series (type in Barcode 5039036025935 into the search bar above and you'll get the review). "The Hustler" was Number 10 in that series (Barcode 5039036028455). I actually collected all 17 of those titles in their fetching numbered steel tins before Blu Ray saw the series off. And of the lot - this 1961 black and white gem starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleeson had by far the most immaculate print.
Well - I'm glad to say that the BLU RAY reissue of "The Hustler" is the same - obviously using the same restored elements. The print on here is TRULY GORGEOUS and adds hugely to your enjoyment of the dingy smoke-filled poolrooms and dodgy characters therein. And the copious amount of extras that accompanied the original DVD release are all here too.
The only real downside is that the US version (again on 20th Century Fox) is in a beautifully done 'book digipak' (non-region coded so it will play on all players). You can buy it as a separate entry - but it's almost double the cost. Shame the UK issue wasn't given the same luxury presentation (it comes in a standard plastic clip case).
To sum up - if you just want a basic version then the UK issue at just over seven quid will do.
But if you want "The Hustler" in its best form (and looking luxurious too) - then pay up more and plumb for the US 'book' version.
It's highly recommended either way...
PS: 20th Century Fox's "Cinema Reserve" Series was originally released in the UK only on DVD between 2006 and 2007.
Each was in specialist 'steel tin' sets. Numbered on the spine - "The Hustler" was part of that series.
Here is the full list in alphabetical order:
1. Number 003: All About Eve (1950)
2. Number 013: Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970)
2. Number 007: Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (1969)
4. Number 019: Cleopatra (was due 2007) - CANCELLED
5. Number 001: The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
6. Number 009: The Fly (1986 Remake)
7. Number 010: The Hustler (1961)
8. Number 011: Kagemusha (1980)
9. Number 004: Laura (1944)
10. Number 005: Lifeboat (1944)
11. Number 018: The Magnificent Seven (1960) (was due 2007) - CANCELLED
12. Number 016: Midnight Cowboy
13. Number 002: My Darling Clementine (1946)
14. Number 006: Patton (1970)
15. Number 008: The Seven Year Itch (1955)
16. Number 017: Some Like It Hot (1959)
17. Number 012: Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
18. Number 015: Valley Of The Dolls (1967)
19. Number 014: The Verdict (1982)
Cinema Reserve on BLU RAY:
As of July 2012 - "All About Eve", "Patton", "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid", "The Hustler" and "Tora! Tora! Tora!" are all issued in BLU RAY 'Book Pack' packaging in the USA. Now budget-priced at $10 each - all are also REGION FREE issues - so will play on all BLU RAY machines. The corresponding UK issues are just in standard clip-case packaging.
"The Day The Earth Stood Still", "The Seven Year Itch", "The Fly", "Midnight Cowboy" and "Some Like It Hot" are in standard clip-case packaging in the USA...
"My Darling Clementine", "Laura", "Valley Of The Dolls", "Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls" and "The Verdict" are unissued as yet on BLU RAY
"Lifeboat" has been given a UK BLU RAY release on Eureka's "Masters Of Cinema" series (licensed from 20th Century Fox).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, modern and disturbing,
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best,
This review is from: The Hustler [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)I've had the Special Edition dvd for quite some time now. A perfect recording of the widescreen BBC broadcast. Or so I thought. Even upscaled the movie is grainy when projected large screen. This blu-ray is immaculate monochrome.
As I was watching it I was struck by just how intimate the movie is. Conversations in bed, over dinner, resting on a bar, leaning against a pool table: the faces are this movie. The dialogue still hits home as a philosophical treatise.
But on this viewing age was the 9 ball corner pocket. Charlie's age. 'Get old and die' Fast Eddie Felson tells his partner, his fellow con-man. It's only recently that I've begun to ponder the abyss that comes after life. Only age brings that perspective. The Hustler is about youth. And being a man. Finding yourself.
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better on bluray,
This review is from: The Hustler [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)I've watched the film twice since I bought the bluray, because firstly its a great film anyway, and secondly on bluray it looks stunning. The black and white photography looks like it was filmed yesterday rather than 52 years ago.
The cast are superb with Paul Newman and the leading actress (whose name escapes me) giving great performances, ably supported by George C Scott who plays the agent/promotor/manager. As somebody else in another review said the film isn't really about Pool. In fact large chunks of it are in the realm of kitchen sink drama, and thats no bad thing as it contrasts starkly with the Pool room scenes.
The film is in 2.35:1 ratio and the extras, which I watched some months ago are pretty good. But the main reason to get this is the bluray transfer, which, for a film of this age is one of the best I've seen.
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Story or Pool Classic,
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The Hustler [Blu-ray]  by Robert Rossen (Blu-ray - 2011)