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  1. I got the notion to start re-watching "The Hustler" today because I saw a couple excerpts from "The Color of Money," the supposed "sequel" and absolute disappointment to The Hustler - the two movies shouldn't be mentioned in the same review because The Hustler is a classic; The Color of Money is lame - I remember a friend of mine saying - when it was out in the theaters in 1986, "This could have been so good, and it was such a disappointment," and I could not agree more. Tom Cruise was an embarrassment in his role, and Paul Newman played a weak character, running on fumes, when he should have played a strong mentor, running on sagesse and wisdom. The Hustler is the opposite of a "chick flick" - it's a guy's movie, and a darned good one were it not for too much lag with the scenes between Paul Newman and Piper Laurie in the middle. What a fascinating premise - a young, cocky pool shark from Oakland, California travels the country in search of Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) only to find out what it means to "win" in a high-stakes pool game, with George C. Scott lurking, and making his true entrance later in the film. What a fantastic cast this was. Forget The Color of Money; this post is about The Hustler, and what a terrific movie and cast it was. You could say both that it was a "pool movie," and that it was a drama cloaked as a "pool movie," although when the rematch occurs, all drama take a backseat to pure, hardcore pool. I'm not going to go into much more detail because if you haven't seen it, you should, and if you have, I'd love to hear what you think. What an acting career Paul Newman has had - stretching in this genre alone from Jackie Gleason to Tom Cruise. "The Hustler" - a classic from 1961. Nine Academy Award Nominations, with two wins. A wonderful, entertaining film on multiple levels.
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