Eddie refuses and Charlie realizes he plans to challenge Fats again. Eddie moves into a rooming house and starts hustling for small stakes. It tells the story of small-time pool hustler "Fast” Eddie Felson and his desire to break into the "major league" of professional hustling and high-stakes wagering by high-rollers that follows it.

He sends out a runner, Preacher, to Johnny's Bar, ostensibly for whiskey, but really to get professional gambler Bert Gordon to the hall. [13] Rossen, in pursuit of the style he termed "neo-neo-realistic",[14] hired actual street thugs, enrolled them in the Screen Actors Guild and used them as extras.

He wins game after game, beating Fats so badly that Fats is forced to quit. "[22] Mordden does note that while Fast Eddie "has a slight fifties ring",[23] the character "makes a decisive break with the extraordinarily feeling tough guys of the 'rebel' era ... [b]ut he does end up seeking out his emotions"[23] and telling Bert that he is a loser because he's dead inside. French, Karl and French, Phillip (2000). Arriving at Fats' home pool hall, Eddie declares he will win $10,000 that night. Eddie realizes that Charlie held out his percentage and becomes enraged, believing that with that money he could have rebounded to beat Fats. "[27] Variety also felt the film was far too long. For example, when Eddie is playing Findley, Eddie is positioned below Bert in a two shot but above Findley while still below Bert in a three shot. The website's critical consensus reads, "Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason give iconic performances in this dark, morally complex tale of redemption. [13][41] Carroll and Rossen's screenplay was selected by the Writers Guild of America in 2006 as the 96th best motion picture screenplay of all time. "[26] The film was well-received by critics, although with the occasional reservation. "[29], Paul Newman reprised his role as "Fast" Eddie Felson in the 1986 film The Color of Money, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

"[21] No film of the 1950s, Mordden asserts, "took such a brutal, clear look at the ego-affirmation of the one-on-one contest, at the inhumanity of the winner or the castrated vulnerability of the loser. [17] Despite the change in emphasis, Rossen still used the various pool games to show the strengthening of Eddie's character and the evolution of his relationship to Bert and Sarah, through the positioning of the characters in the frame. In 1997, the Library of Congress selected The Hustler for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Fast Eddie Felson, protagonist of the novel The Hustler, the film The Hustler and its sequel, The Color of Money Fast Eddie Costigan, pianist and bouncer in Spider Robinson's "Callahan's" stories such as Callahan's Crosstime Saloon Fast Eddies a Canadian fast food chain Fast Eddys, an … But Eddie says that if he is not killed he will kill Bert when he recovers; invoking the memory of Sarah, he shames Bert into giving up his claim. Small-time pool hustler "Fast” Eddie Felson travels cross-country with his partner Charlie to challenge the legendary player "Minnesota Fats".

[47] Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the film's popularity was a real-life pool hustler named Rudolf Wanderone. [16], Early shooting put more focus on the pool playing, but during filming Rossen made the decision to place more emphasis on the love story between Newman and Laurie's characters. Plot “Fast” Eddie Felson is a former pool hustler turned successful liquor salesman in Chicago.He still stakes bets for players, including fellow hustler Julian, who is outmatched at nine-ball by the young and charismatic Vincent Lauria. "[13], The film was also somewhat autobiographical for Rossen, relating to his dealings with the House Un-American Activities Committee. A screenwriter during the 1930s and '40s, he had been involved with the Communist Party in the 1930s and refused to name names at his first HUAC appearance. Rossen, who had hustled pool himself as a youth and who had made an abortive attempt to write a pool-themed play called Corner Pocket, optioned the book and teamed with Sidney Carroll to produce the script. [20] Rossen also takes aim at Capitalism, often showing money as a malign and corrupting influence. "[22] Although some have suggested the resemblance of this film to classic film noir, Mordden rejects the comparison based on Rossen's ultra-realistic style, also noting that the film lacks noir's "Treacherous Woman or its relish in discovering crime among the bourgeoisie, hungry bank clerks and lusty wives.

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