Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

The Hustler (1961)

Directed by Robert Rossen

Starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott


The same “hustler gets outhustled and loses his girl in the process” premise as White Men Can’t Jump. What’s the point of the girl having a bad leg? I wanted more or none of George C. Scott flirting with the woman. They kinda skirted around it, but it could have really intensified the plot. A bit slow.

I wanted more between Eddie and Fats rather than just the beginning and end. Maybe some taunting. Gleason is great, but I wanted to see more of him. I also think it would have been better if he was funnier and had more character (as the film suggests he does). And whatever happened to Charlie at the end? There’s certainly evidence to suggest that Charlie and Eddie were gay. It’s nice to see that they could have flirted with that idea in older movies, whereas now everything has to be spelled out and there can’t be a hint of gayness.

I question the camerawork, cinematography (angles, framing, and lighting were horrible), and editing (a ton of dissolves and a few continuity errors). I found the freeze frame intro credits and last shot to be annoying. The opening shots were cool until they were frozen and held still. It was constricting, somehow. And when a movie ends, you want a sense that life will go on, but differently somehow. The film ended on a motion shot which is suddenly frozen. The point?

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