The Hustler (Empire On-Demand Review)

HustlerSquareThe Hustler (1961), VOD

Robert Rosson’s monochrome masterpiece about small-time poolroom hustler ‘Fast’ Eddie Felson (a mesmerizing Paul Newman) is chiefly memorable for the scenes in which he goes for broke against rival pool legend ‘Minnesota Fats’ (Jackie Gleason). But that is only the beginning of this cynical story, as Felson is taken under the wing of slick hustler-manager Bert Gordon (George C Scott) while trying, in his ham-fisted way, to court hard-bitten lush Sarah (Piper Laurie). All four actors received Oscar nominations, along with nods for Best Picture and Best Director, but West Side Story swept the board.

Empire rating: ★★★★★

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