Best Movies by Farr
The Hustler Poster
Released Runtime Category
1961 135 Drama, Sports Movies
Director Language
Robert Rossen English
Piper Laurie, Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott

The Hustler

Watch it on:

What's it About

"Fast Eddie" Felson (Newman) is a charismatic California pool shark with a wide streak of arrogance to match his considerable skill. After he loses big to the legendary Minnesota Fats (Gleason), Eddie hits the skids and falls for fellow lost soul Sarah (Laurie). Trying to hustle his way back to the top of his game, he entrusts his future to oily promoter Bert Gordon (Scott), who promises him riches and fame. But will Gordon deliver if Eddie does?

Why we love it

A gritty, atmospheric picture about the tense world of high-stakes pool, Rossen's "The Hustler" features some of Newman's best work-to-date. "Fast Eddie" may be a young virtuoso with a pool cue, but his maturity hasn't caught up with his moves, and he learns some hard lessons in pool and life from Minnesota Fats, played to cool perfection by the late, great Gleason. Scott also stands out as a ruthless backer, and Laurie does a sad, sensitive turn as a lonely woman on the fringes who falls under Eddie's spell. Though Newman was Oscar-nominated, he'd have to reprise the role twenty-five years later (in "The Color Of Money") to win the statuette. I prefer this, his original outing.

Up Next

The Ice Storm

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"