Every element as precise and ambiguous as a physics puzzle, Rossen’s black-and-white Cinemascope screen mirrors the grungy, lonely glamour of the midwestern American pool halls where Fast Eddie displays as many confounding skills in his pool game as in his artful swindling. The scintillating performances of Paul Newman’s charming hustler, Piper Laurie’s troubled, perceptive Sarah and George C. Scott’s manipulative mastermind bounce off of one another in a high stakes game that aims beyond the shabby theatrics of the pool hall and into politics, filmmaking and the daily trafficking of the human spirit. The layers of masks and manipulation never fully peel away from the propaganda that all the “twisted, perverted, crippled” characters use to protect themselves and somehow “win.” Rossen’s search through night clubs, boxing rings, political parties and ancient Rome all seem to lead to Eddie’s chance to beat Minnesota Fats. At the end of a complex, tragic, gracefully executed game, exile may be the price of enlightenment.
Voted one of the year’s ten best by the “New York Times” and “Time”, THE HUSTLER is a cinematic masterpiece that crackles with tension and plays as smooth as green felt.
April 29, 2014
Shades Snooker and Pool Hall
197-199 Deptford High St
London SE8 3NT
Free event. No ticket required.
There is a fully licensed bar and both snooker and American Pool tables are available at £6.95 per hour. English pool tables are coin operated at £1 per game.