I watched The Hustler back in 2015, which was a most excellent film. So, I had to watch this.
What I completely forgot was that Martin Scorcese directed this, so when I saw his name in the opening credits my expectations rose. And it was a classic Marty film with it’s sweeping, snappy, and busy shots. It never really felt like a Marty film though.
Paul Newman was great as usual, he carried most of the film, and deservedly won an Academy Award for best actor. The Cruiser was his usual self, and he had made Top Gun in the same year, so he was on a buzz. His performance was actually quite good, although he was basically playing the nine ball player version of his role in Top Gun. He did a lot of the pool shots himself, just leaving the tricky shots to a pool stuntman. Did you know that before deciding to become a famous actor he had aspirations to be a Catholic priest? Yep.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio played Tom’s girlfriend, and she was equally fabulous, she held her own well against Paul and Tommo. She hasn’t acted in a film since 2004 which is a shame, although she continues to work in television and on stage.
So this was good stuff to watch. The cast was great, and the story engaging but not overly thrilling. Marty did his thing well, but this can’t be included in a top ten of the best films made by him.
Date watched: February 2nd
Film count 2017: 25