is a 1961 film starring Paul Newman
, Jackie Gleason
, George C. Scott
, and Piper Laurie based on a novel by Walter Tevis.
"Fast Eddie" Felson (Newman) is a talented but overconfident and undisciplined pool hustler who tries to prove himself by challenging legendary pool player "Minnesota Fats" (Gleason). After Felson loses to Fats, he takes up with the heavy drinking Sarah Packard (Laurie) and starts a relationship with unscrupulous manager Bert Gordon (Scott) that ultimately proves costly both professionally and personally.
Newman played "Fast Eddie" Felson again in the 1986 sequel, The Color of Money
, and won an Oscar as Best Actor.
This film provides examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Sarah.
- Always Someone Better: "Minnesota Fats"
- Badass Boast: This little gem after Eddie beats Fats, and Bert demands what he believes is his share.
Fast Eddie: Boy, you better, you tell your boys they better kill me, Bert. They better go all the way with me, 'cause if they just bust me up, I'll put all those pieces back together again, then so help me... So help me God, Bert, I'm gonna come back here and I'm gonna kill you.
- Broken Bird: Sarah. She even walks with a slight limp.
- Calling Your Shots: Newman and Gleason are playing 14.1 straight pool and call their shots.
- Crippling the Competition: 'Fast Eddie' Felson has his thumbs broken by a pool shark who doesn't like being hustled.
- Driven to Suicide: Sarah after sleeping with Bert.
- Hustler: Eddie
- Manipulative Bastard: Bert
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Minnesota Fats is based on Rudolf Wanderone or so he claims. Because of the claim he became better known by the nickname than the character allegedly based on him.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: After more than 24 hours of straight pool playing against Minnesota Fats, Eddie is exhausted and rather drunk. Then Fats, well-groomed and smiling, says, "Eddie, let's play pool." Fats proceeds to utterly destroy him at the table.
- Sell Out: What Eddie does when he agrees to let Bert manage him.
- The Teetotaler: Even though he frequents bars and pool halls, Bert's beverage of choice is milk.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech