Vintage Movie Poster and Review – The Hustler

A film review of The Hustler (1961) with the vintage movie poster.

Starring Paul Newman as ‘Fast Eddie Nelson’, Jackie Gleason as ‘Minnesota Fats’, Piper Laurie as Sarah Packard and George C Scott as Bert Gordon.

Date of release; 1961

Is The Hustler a film about Pool? In a sense yes but it’s so much more than that. It’s about a man’s obsession to be the best and how that can really affect what matters the most. Paul Newman is Fast Eddie,a cocky young and up and coming pool talent who’s determined to be the best, however, the only way to be the best is to beat the best, who happens to be legendary Pool player Minnesota Fats.

They play off against each other and whilst I won’t spoil the outcome, during the game Fast Eddie comes to the attention of Bert Gordon, who sees Eddie as his meal ticket to riches. George C Scott was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal as Gordon, who is a real nasty piece of work.

Piper Laurie plays Eddies girlfriend Sarah, who is an alcoholic with dreams of living a high life. Laurie was nominated for an Oscar but lost out to Sophia Loren.

Jackie Gleason excels in the role of Fats and even though he doesn’t have a great deal of lines to say, his actions are more than enough. A real point to make about Fats is that he doesn’t associate with anyone in the pool halls. This shows how lonely it is at the top and to stay there he dedicates his reclusive life to pool.

Expertly directed by Robert Rossen, the sets are incredible and the cinematography perfectly shows the great lighting which reminds me so much of my pool hall days back in the late eighties.

It really is a must-see movie, an all-time American classic with a wonderful cast.

The Movie Poster:

To coincide with the film’s UK release date on the 6th October 1961, 20th Century Fox’s UK division paired up with the Haycock Press Limited from London to print this British Quad poster. Firstly, a very talented artist would have drawn the original and then this would have been commissioned by the powers to be, at that time Percy Livingstone was the UK’s managing director for 20th Century Fox. Sadly the artist who created this particular image is unknown.

Haycock Press would have printed a run of around 3000-5000 posters for the UK market and to my knowledge there are only five known to exist (It’s possible there are a few more hidden away in personal collections).

This poster, featuring three of the main characters, measures the usual British quad size of 40″ x 30″ shows only a small number of flaws, mainly pinholes in the corners and some light smudging. It will soon be displayed and will be available to purchase.

 

Check out our latest write-up of the classic French psychological thriller Les Diaboliques here. 

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