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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:46 am 
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I saw it for the first time today. I've been dying to see it for years, but for various reasons couldn't. This is possibly my favorite Paul Newman film in terms of performance and for the film itself. Man, it's too bad the filmmaker, Rossen, only made one more film. He already directed a number of films before, but who knows how much more he could've developed as a filmmaker?

I guess "The Verdict" and "Hud" would be my other two favorites.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:12 am 
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I have the unique pleasure of having been born and raised in a small Texas ranching community (Archer City, pop. 2000) that has been portrayed by Hollywood three times. Hud nails it pretty well and Newman completely nails the characterization of a smalltown Texas hellraiser, and for that reason, it will always be my favorite performance of his.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:23 pm 
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If you haven't already seen it, I strongly recommend Rossen's Lilith with Warren Beaty and Jean Seberg.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:02 am 
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hearthesilence wrote:
I saw it for the first time today. I've been dying to see it for years, but for various reasons couldn't. This is possibly my favorite Paul Newman film in terms of performance and for the film itself. Man, it's too bad the filmmaker, Rossen, only made one more film. He already directed a number of films before, but who knows how much more he could've developed as a filmmaker?

I guess "The Verdict" and "Hud" would be my other two favorites.


I really dig The Hustler as well. It has a great look and atmosphere that always felt like something out of a Kerouac novel. He loved writing about pool halls and people who dwelled in the margins of societies as Newman's character does in this movie.

That movie and Hud are always running neck-and-neck for me as to which is my favourite Paul Newman film. The characters and the world they inhabit is so fascinating to watch in Hud. It's one of those movies that whenever I happen to catch it on TV, I end up getting sucked in and watching it to the end.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:09 pm 
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He may have gotten his Oscar for COLOR OF MONEY to make up for not receiving one earlier in his career, but he did an outstanding job of bringing his character of Eddie Felson up to date. It's one of the most underrated sequels. Its reputation is sullied, I think, because it also starred Tom Cruise (which is a shame because even Cruise does a great job in it). I guess people at the time thought Scorsese sold out by doing amovie with stars in it. They're wrong.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:22 pm 
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Alonzo the Armless wrote:
He may have gotten his Oscar for COLOR OF MONEY to make up for not receiving one earlier in his career, but he did an outstanding job of bringing his character of Eddie Felson up to date. It's one of the most underrated sequels. Its reputation is sullied, I think, because it also starred Tom Cruise (which is a shame because even Cruise does a great job in it). I guess people at the time thought Scorsese sold out by doing amovie with stars in it. They're wrong.

I know we frown upon the type of post I'm about to make, but I just wanted to say.... Damn Straight! =D>


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:42 pm 
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Alonzo the Armless wrote:
He may have gotten his Oscar for COLOR OF MONEY to make up for not receiving one earlier in his career, but he did an outstanding job of bringing his character of Eddie Felson up to date. It's one of the most underrated sequels. Its reputation is sullied, I think, because it also starred Tom Cruise (which is a shame because even Cruise does a great job in it). I guess people at the time thought Scorsese sold out by doing amovie with stars in it. They're wrong.


I couldn't agree more. I really like this film a lot. The dialogue really snaps and pops. I love hearing Felson talk about the old days and school Cruise's character on how to hustle people. Scorsese's camerawork is fantastic in this movie. He really makes pool playing look dynamic.

And yes, Cruise is well cast as the cocky, snotty kid who gets taken down a few notches by Felson... especially when he shows him up by picking up the woman at the bar in record time. Great stuff.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:59 pm 
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One thing has always thrown me off about the ending of Color of Money, and it's probably because I haven't watched it a few years and my perceptions are based a great deal upon my initial viewings as a kid. During their final encounter/pool game, after Vincent has taken a dive against Eddie in the tournament for his own profit, what exactly does Vincent mean when he accuses Eddie of "using" them (Eddie & Carmen - even though Vincent probably means to emphasize himself with his choice of words)? Those words always threw me off for some reason, because I could never quite figure out how Eddie actually used Vincent over the course of the film.

Cruise does a great job in the film, but casting him as an Italian always seemed unusual to me.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:07 pm 
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He used Vincent to win woney by whatever means possible. He taught Vincent to put aside ethics and learn how to dump just to win money. Vincent finally got the hang of it and dumped when he played Eddie in the finals. By this time, Eddie realized what a mistake he made in turning a person who loved playing pool to win into someone who's willing to lie and cheat to go for the bucks. Ediie thought it was wrong by that point and let Vincent know that. Vincent always look to Eddie as a father figure and was hurt that Ediie disapporved of the methods he used -- because it was Ediie that taught them to him. He wanted to be regarded as a son rather than a means to win Eddie money.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:50 pm 
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Alonzo the Armless wrote:
He used Vincent to win money by whatever means possible. He taught Vincent to put aside ethics and learn how to dump just to win money. Vincent finally got the hang of it and dumped when he played Eddie in the finals. By this time, Eddie realized what a mistake he made in turning a person who loved playing pool to win into someone who's willing to lie and cheat to go for the bucks. Ediie thought it was wrong by that point and let Vincent know that. Vincent always look to Eddie as a father figure and was hurt that Ediie disapporved of the methods he used -- because it was Ediie that taught them to him. He wanted to be regarded as a son rather than a means to win Eddie money.

Somehow, I don't see it as a moral dilemma for Eddie once Vincent has gotten one over on him. I agree that the relationship mimics that of a father and son, and in some ways the film plays around and perverts that relationship (especially with Carmen involved). However, during that final match, it doesn't seem to me that Eddie is all that conflicted at having taught Vincent how to create and execute the con, and thereby tainted what was once an innocent sport to Vincent, so much as Eddie is destroyed by the fact that Vincent has made him the victim in this particular con. It always seemed as though Eddie's struggle was with the idea that he was a relic of the past and Vincent was the brash prodigy that he ultimately couldn't control, and therefore would not metaphorically accept as a son.

Once Vincent dumps to Eddie in order to net his maximum bank, Eddie seems genuinely thrilled at having beaten his protege, since it now means he hasn't lost his step. Eddie feels that he's truly overcome the limitations of his age and has conquered the modern world around him by recapturing the dominance of the game he grasped in his youth. It's the father still knowing he is on top and the master of the world around him. Unfortunately, once Eddie realizes that Vincent dumped to him, it's the ultimate insult between father and son, in that the son has essentially said he has surpassed the father, and is now only toying with him. It's the pupil becoming the teacher.

It's seems like that aspect is what is torturing Eddie at the end, not just the fact that he has tainted the sport to Vincent. Eddie has been reduced yet again to a relic of the past, but says he'll continue to battle Vincent - which is why it works so well at being a sequel to The Hustler and a figurative face-off between the Newman and Cruise star personas. It doesn't seem as if the lack of morality weighs so much on Eddie, only that he allowed himself to naively believe that the sport was pure for a brief second, and that his success meant something. Ultimately, I guess he does realize that his methods have corrupted Vincent's innocent enthusiasm for the game, but I doubt either is all that troubled by it. Instead it feels as if finally both understand the twisted rules of the game, and will now compete as equals - which is really what happens to the relationship between father and son, once the image of father as deity is broken and the son finds success independently.

I don't know. Is it really just that Vincent didn't enjoy the idea that Eddie took a cut of his profits while they were on the road? This doesn't seem as if it qualifies as "being used". Did Eddie ever keep more money than he was supposed to, or was it just that Vincent didn't appreciate being somebody's cash-cow?


Last edited by Andre Jurieu on Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:05 pm 

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Perhaps not his best but incredibly memorable: Slap Shot


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:25 pm 
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sherlockjr wrote:
Perhaps not his best but incredibly memorable: Slap Shot

I believe that's Pauline Kael's favorite Paul Newman performance.
Pauline Kael wrote:
Reggie has never grown up; he's beautiful because he is still a child. Reggie is scarred and bruised, and there are gold rims on his chipped teeth; you don't see much of his eyes. But the childlike quality is inner, and the warmth comes from deeper down. He makes boyishness seem magically attractive. He's thin-skinned but a little thickheaded -- a good-natured macho clown who can't conceal his vulnerability.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:15 am 

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"The Hustler" is ok for occasional viewing but not something I would watch for enjoyment. Scenery Chewing has to be taken in small bites.

I loved "Nobody's Fool" more, and it's one of those films that grows on you. Who wants to see Fast Eddie repeatedly ?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:21 am 
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I'll take Cool Hand Luke and Sweet Bird of Youth.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:41 am 
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For many years I held the opinion that Paul Newman must have been bored silly being an actor after around '64. The main players were gone (Dean, Clift and Brando) and he just didn't give a shit anymore. After the debacle of Torn Curtain (Hitchcock gave up working with 'names' after this, and it is indeed the worst, laziest performance of any lead in a Hitchcock film) he threw himself into his main passions - cars, family and cars. Films? "Just let me point the baby blues at the camera, read the lines with little regard and let the others do all the work." With the rare exceptions (Judge Roy Bean, The Verdict) I still get this impression when I look at his work alot of the time.

But along comes back to back the Robert Benton double of Nobody's Fool and Twilight in the mid 90s. Boy, the kid can still do it! Twilight especially is a gem, as Newman sizzles in that leisurely, laidback way that he stole from Mitchum. The ease of style is divine to watch, as are those damn baby blues. Throw in Susan Sarandon, never more sultry and wanton, the even more leisurely James Garner (where would his career have been without Newman to steal from?) and a terrific Elmer Bernstein score, and it remains one of the highlights of the past 10 years.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:41 pm 
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sherlockjr wrote:
Perhaps not his best but incredibly memorable: Slap Shot

Agreed. Not Newman's greatest work but just a great little movie. I'd go with Hud, Nobody's Fool and Cool Hand Luke as Newman's best performances. As for The Color of Money, it's a tight little movie and very underrated. People like to talk smack about Cruise but in films where he plays opposite a Hollywood "heavy-weight" he more than holds his own. Money and Rain Man, where he has the much more difficult role, are pretty good examples.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:43 pm 
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Yes, yes this is the best Paul Newman film. 8-)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:36 am 
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Nobody's Fool has been on the HBO channels lately and I've caught a bit of it, and I must say it's one of my favorite's of his. He's great in The Verdict as well, even if it moves a little slow. I too also love The Color Of Money. It's too bad though that Paul never did anything else with Scorsese.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:35 am 
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Somebody up There Likes Me is terrific, and on par with The Hustler, imo.

But thanks to this thread, I will pick up The Color of Money and give it a chance.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:19 am 

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Hmm thats a tough one, but id probably go with Cool Hand Luke or The Color of Money


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:05 am 
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I think my favorite is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Him and Elizabeth Taylor just work really well off each other.

I like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid too. Newman and Robert Redford have such great chemistry and the movie is just plain fun without out being stupid.

The Hustler was kind of underwhelming to me, it was good but not "Gabby Hayes" good, so to speak. I didn't feel like the relationship between him and Piper Laurie was worth focusing, and yet the second half of the film focuses on it. It felt like a contrivance that would move the plot forward. The stuff with Newman and Gleason is fantastic and the film looks great, I just felt it dragged alot.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:28 pm 
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20th Century Fox just finished its restoration of this film, and their work got its world premiere at the new (awesome) screening facilities at MoMI this past weekend.

Don't know if a new Blu-Ray disc or DVD based on this restoration is in the works, but if Criterion could do it...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:01 am 
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Wow, you deserve a ticker-tape parade for sticking with this thread for (almost) six years! So tell us, do you still consider The Hustler the best Paul Newman film? Did you get to see the restoration?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Lol, thanks! I was looking for a pre-existing thread on The Hustler and the only thing that came up was this, the one I started way back when.

No, missed the restoration - didn't know about it until it was too late - but yes, I still think this is his best film and it's still my favorite Newman performance. He generally became a better actor later in life, and I prefer his performances in Slapshot, The Verdict and Nobody's Fool, where he's much more natural and nuanced, over most of his '50 and '60s era performances. However, this one's a big exception.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Yep, I'm also a sucker for "Cool Hand Luke"... but "The Hustler" isn't TOO far behind.


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