Karyn Kusama on

The Hustler

Released 1961
Distributor 20th Century Fox

This gritty, downbeat adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel was director Robert Rossen’s favorite of his films, and one of Paul Newman’s as well. He reprised his role as pool shark Fast Eddie Felson in Martin Scorsese’s 1986 The Color of Money and won the Oscar that eluded him here. Pool pro Willie Moscone coached Newman and served as hand double for the close-up shots. Mostly relegated to banal glamour girls parts in the 50’s, Piper Laurie turned everyone’s head with her harrowing portrayal of Newman’s ill-fated girlfriend.

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About Karyn Kusama

Karyn Kusama wrote and directed her first feature film, Girlfight in 1999. Since then she has directed the science-fiction love story Aeon Flux, and the comedy-horror film Jennifer’s Body. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Joseph Thompson

Can we talk about black-and-white Cinemascope? What a superb combination.