The Hustler

Boy, that was a good movie!  I mean, why didn’t anyone tell me?  Duh…it’s a “classic.”

Not knowing anything about it, I was taken aback by the power of the story.  Two losers, two alcoholics, two lonely people…and that pool hall.  The depiction of the “ego affirmation” of winning, as one discussion put it rather pompously, is brutal indeed, but the honesty of the romantic story is also, in its way, brutal.  Piper Laurie is a damaged person in more ways than one, but she is also clear sighted.  It takes a tragedy for Eddie to gain that clarity.  And George C. Scott as Mr. Mephistopheles is, of course, wonderful.

A tale of loss, growth, and redemption.  A story where the theme is right out there in front – the characters even talk about it, but not because they’re corny, but because they are struggling to be human.  Do they make ’em like this anymore?


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