Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott
Robert Rossen (Director), Sidney Carroll (Screenplay), Robert Rossen (Screenplay), Walter Tevis (Screenplay)
Released: Sep. 25th, 1961
Runtime: 2 hours, 14 minutes
Fast Eddie Felson is a small-time pool hustler with a lot of talent but a self-destructive attitude. His bravado causes him to challenge the legendary Minnesota Fats to a high-stakes match, but he loses in a heartbreaking marathon. Now broke and without his long-time manager, Felson faces an uphill battle to regain his confidence and his game.
Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) is a two-bit pool hustler who's a real wiz at the game but his self destructive narcissistic streak keeps him from being the champ.
After he meets Bert Gordon, who tells Eddie he's a born loser, and rejects his offer to work for him, he gets into trouble in another obscure pool bar, after hustling a guy, and he ends up with broken thumbs.
Like his character, his portrayal is more show than tell, which makes us notice the rough edges of Fast Eddie and the misfortunes he is responsible for, but I think the film sets up the possibilities for a much deeper and more complicated character study.