Friday, December 24, 2010

The Hustler

Paul Newman is a pool hustler shacking up with alcoholic student Piper Laurie. Also starring George C Scott and Jackie Gleason, directed by Robert Rossen.

It's another great film, made the year before Hud, shot in black and white that perfectly captures the atmosphere of the poolhalls, rooming houses and bars the characters live in. Again, it's a pretty dark film. You constantly have the feeling it's not going to end well, and it doesn't. You never notice the camera moves or the editing, it's all about the story and the characters. It's the sort of invicible direction that you almost never find in movies these days, but rather have to go find in tv shows like The Wire or The Sopranos. Another great performance by Newman - cocky, but never obnoxious (Tom Cruise, I'm looking at you!). During the endcredits I noticed Jake LaMotta - The Raging Bull - had a small part in the film as a bartender.

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