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The Hustler [DVD] [1961]

Release Date:06/04/2002
Lovingly restored and featured on a disc with a bevy of solid extras, this 20th Century Fox Special Edition of The Hustler could be used as a template for releasing other classic movies on DVD. Listed at a budget price, the disc features a pristine widescreen anamorphic transfer that shows off Eugene Schuftan's starkly beautiful black-and-white Oscar-winning cinematography. Paul Newman should have won an Academy Award for his typically exceptional performance in The Hustler and he's featured in both the engaging audio commentary track and in a much better than average making-of documentary entitled "The Huster: The Inside Story." The kind of gritty, tough yet humanistic movie that mainstream Hollywood just doesn't make anymore, both the commentary track and the documentary about The Hustler should be of interest to filmmakers, students, and fans alike. The DVD also contains a featurette on how to do the trick pool shoots that are contained in the movie and the good people at 20th Century Fox have close-captioned the disc for the hearing impaired. The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track comes in both stereo and mono (the original film was released in mono) and the track sounds clean and well balanced in either version. This quality disc is worthy of the upscale Criterion Collection, yet the extremely reasonable list price on The Hustler disc is less than half of what consumers so often pay for lavishly produced DVD reissues such as this. If only the major studios treated all of their classic films in the same loving manner which they've treated The Hustler.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    99% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (150 out of 152)

    Special Features

    • Commentary by Paul Newman, Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel, and others
    • Original documentary: "The Hustler: The Inside Story"
    • Picture-in-picture commentary on "How to Make the Trick Shots"
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Scene selection
    • Anamorphic widescreen (aspect ratio 2.35:1)
    • Audio: English Stereo, English Mono, French Mono
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Closed Captioned


    The Hustler
    As The Hustler's "Fast" Eddie Felson, Paul Newman created a classic antihero, charismatic but fundamentally flawed, and nobody's role model. A pool player from Oakland, CA, as good as anyone who ever picked up a cue, Eddie has an Achilles' heel: arrogance. It's not enough for him to win: he must force his opponent to acknowledge his superiority. The movie follows Eddie from his match against billiards champ Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) as he falls in love with Sarah (Piper Laurie), an alcoholic would-be writer and sometime prostitute, and falls under the spell of Bert Gordon (George C. Scott), a successful gambler who offers to take Eddie under his wing and teach him how to play in the big time. However, when Sarah joins Eddie and Bert on a trip to Louisville for a high-stakes match with a dandy named Findlay (Murray Hamilton), the consequences prove tragic. Along with a classic performance by Newman, The Hustler also features turns by Scott, Laurie, and Gleason, in a rare dramatic role. Cameos from pool champ Willie Mosconi and boxer Jake LaMotta add to the atmosphere of Harry Horner's grubby production design and Eugen Schüfftan's camerawork. Director Robert Rossen, who had been working in films since 1937, was to direct only one more film, Lilith (1964), before his death in 1966. In 1986, Newman returned to the role of "Fast" Eddie in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money, for which he finally earned an Academy Award as Best Actor. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Paul Newman
      Paul Newman - "Fast" Eddie Felson
    • Jackie Gleason
      Jackie Gleason - Minnesota Fats
    • Piper Laurie
      Piper Laurie - Sarah Packard
    • George C. Scott
      George C. Scott - Bert Gordon
    • Myron McCormick
      Myron McCormick - Charlie Bums

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.