Paul Newman deservedly won the best actor Oscar for this terrific drama in which he reprises the role of “Fast” Eddie Felson, the pool shark he played in 1961’s The Hustler.
Here, the ageing liquor salesman and former pool hustler takes on pushy pupil Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise) and both learn a trick or two about life and each other as Felson prepares his prodigy for a national tournament in Atlantic City.
The confrontational climax never quite convinces, but Richard Price’s knockout script is one to treasure and director Martin Scorsese brings his trademark visual style to bear on the production.
Oscar-nominated Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio puts in an accomplished performance as the naive Cruise’s knowing girlfriend and look out, too, for Forest Whitaker in a supporting role as a young pool hustler and a brief cameo from Iggy Pop.
“Fast” Eddie Felson
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Earl at Chalkies
Casino band singer
Bruce A Young
Chuck, the bartender
Skinny player on the road