The Hustler. If you’ve never seen it, and you think it’s all about pool, you’re wrong. It’s really a story about a few dynamic, fascinating but lost souls who find each other and, for some little time, give each other joy and comfort. They love each other in some very real ways–but their junk gets in their way. Paul Newman, the handsome, wiry, passionate pool practitioner who picks his people and his fights. Piper Laurie, “Eddie’s girl,” a gimpy, lonely woman who drinks and writes and goes to some mysterious “school.”
Yeah, it’s depressing, because the bad guy, George C. Scott, is really bad. He pushes—for his own ends—the most sensitive buttons on these fragile souls, but it’s really real. I like that kind of thing in a movie.
Mesmerizing final scenes. A great old movie.
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