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Features
The 50 Greatest Sports Movies
We rank the very best sports films

Back Page 44 of 50 Next
7

The Hustler (1961)

DIRECTOR Robert Rossen
STARS Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott

Playing the role that would eventually win him his only Oscar 25 years later, for the undeniably inferior Scorsese sequel The Color Of Money, Paul Newman is at his very best as the exceptionally talented and regrettably overconfident "Fast Eddie" Felson, a pool player so certain of his success that he travels halfway across the country to play reigning champ Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) in his own back yard. But as well as exploring the technical brilliance of professional pool playing – "No Masse Shots Allowed" – Rossen's adaptation of Walter Tevis' novel delves deep into dysfunctional relationships, alcoholism, ambition, greed, suicide and loneliness. The resulting film is a masterful mix of substance and style, credibility and sheer cool that established Newman as of the 20th century's finest actors.
Read Empire's review

QUICK POLL
Should The Hustler be higher or lower on the list?
Higher
Lower

The Stats
THE SPORT
Pool
THE PLAYER
"Fast Eddie" Felson (Newman)
DOCUMENTARY?
No.
DEFINING MOMENT
Fast Eddie, out of the game with a pair of broken thumbs, explains to his emotionally fragile girlfirend, Sarah (Piper Laurie), how it feels to play, to win, to be great at something... sometimes. "You're not a loser, Eddie, you're a winner," she responds. "Some men never get to feel that way about anything."
KEY TACTICS
Not so much a tactic, but a state of mind: knowing you're going to win. Not deciding, just knowing, feeling, winning. "When all of a sudden, you know you can't miss..."
Back Page 44 of 50 Next

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Have your say Agree with the list? Which sports movie would you add to the list? Register or login now to have your say.


Your Comments

1 Underdog film
Dodgeball certainly remains one of the classic underdog films, not just for its inspirational value, but its usual comedy, too. And perhaps some of the others could make this list too: http://www.ranker.com/list/best-movies-about-underdogs/ ranker-film Read More

Posted on Wednesday June 18, 2014, 18:51 by Imperion

2 See Also
Karate Kid, The Waterboy, The foot fist way, Hot rod, Caddy Shack, The mighty ducks, coach carter, blades of glory, mean machine, leatherheads, the ringer, nacho libre, kicking and screaming, baseketball, remember the titans, brians song, don king: only in america, cinderella man, million dollar baby, somebody up there likes me, the boxer, knuckle, bend it like beckham, fever pitch, zidane Read More

Posted on Saturday September 15, 2012, 18:42 by bnicholson50

3 RE: What the Hell!?
l largely an excuse for Chaplin to show off his legendary slapstick skills and rubbery physical abilities while poking fun at sports clichés and underdog stories, but it's still more entertaining than most of the films it skewers. ow exactly does Chaplin, in 1915, skewer films that are very very far from being made and poking fun at sports clichés that do not yet exist? Read More

Posted on Wednesday July 25, 2012, 00:42 by Evil_Bob

4 RE: Rocky - third place
BASEketball should totally be in here. Okay it's not a real sport, but it is a sport movie. And it's funny as shit wise a pretty damn solid list. (Rocky 2-4 should be included as well, but maybe that's being a bit greedy...) Read More

Posted on Tuesday July 24, 2012, 13:55 by Whistler

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