Friday, April 11, 2008

The Hustler

I was chatting with a friend recently about how Oscars are sometimes given for good-not-great roles or movies, because they are making up for mistakes in the past. Scorcese winning for The Departed is a good example. It's a good movie, but it's no Goodfellas, Raging Bull, or Taxi Driver. The other example, for me, was Paul Newman winning for The Color of Money (coincidentally directed by Scorcese). I haven't looked at the list of nominees for Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Butch Cassidy, or The Sting, but as anyone who has seen these movies surely know, he's more than a pretty face.

Predictably, my favorite Newman movies are Hud (Texas, Larry McMurtry, etc.) and The Hustler (Pool). I ran across this fantastic clip of the climax of The Hustler. Total spoiler if you haven't seen the movie which is a four-star absolute must watch movie. But if you have seen it, take ten minutes and watch the interplay between Newman, Gleason, and George C. Scott (as the embodiment of evil).

1 comment:

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I haven't seen this in years.
I'm struck by the careful attention given to lighting, camera angles, character as revealed in faces, and attention to caring little details that we no longer get to experience in a movie.
Contrast this clip with any part of the sequel - The Color of Money.
My favorite Newman movie is one in which he doesn't even appear. He directed his wife, plus John Malkovich and Karen Allen in a little-known version of "The Glass Menagerie". It's outstanding.