The Hustler Blu-ray

Paul Newman stars in the classic The Hustler, a tale of a small time pool hustler who tries to take on the top pool player but does not see he is being hustled.

Film making 25/25
Video 23/25
Audio 18/25
Bonus Features 23/25
Total 89/100

The Hustler Blu-ray

The Hustler stars Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie and George C. Scott in a classic film that was shot in black and white even though color was the film choice of the day. Fast Eddie Felson is a small time pool hustler wanting to test his mettle against the best, Minnesota Fats, but he doesn’t understand the hustle can go both ways.

Eddie and Minnesota Fats play against each other in a marathon pool session with Minnesota not only winning but putting Fast Eddie in his place. Eddie’s longtime manager and partner Charlie Burns sees Eddie is not only being self-destructive but reckless when he takes on Minnesota Fats.

Eddie and Charlie have yet another fight and Charlie leaves seeing that Eddie is not going to come around when he is continuing on the same trail he finds himself. Eddie meets Sarah and they strike up a romantic relationship even though both are very self-destructive, it seems they were made for each other.

Sarah has the same type of personality as Eddie, both are arrogant and want the world to recognize them in some way, Eddie with his superiority at pool. Sarah is just a different sort of self-destructive than Eddie but they do make the perfect couple.

Eddie hooks up with another manager, Bert Gordon played by George C. Scott who sets Eddie up with games to make some money in Louisville. When Sarah sees Eddie continue to fall downward into his own self-pity and arrogance she ends the relationship by killing herself.

Eddie winds up becoming a bit better with himself after Sarah’s death and takes on Minnesota Fats to beat him at his own game. The Hustler is an emotional and well-acted film that started the best career streak for Paul Newman but also had a lot of help for other actors.

The film is chock full of talent from direction to the numerous secondary roles played by some of the biggest actors not only of the time but of all time. The Hustler is a great film and one that should be a part of any movie collection.

Video for The Hustler is great for a black and white film transferred to Blu-ray without any noticeable problems or issues. The film looks great even in black and white without any problems from the transfer from a source that has been cleaned very well.

Audio is a bit hit and miss with volume problems where at times you can hear everything clearly but once in a while voice is not quite as clear. The 5.2 DTS-HD Master track used in the Blu-ray release sounds really good at times but a few times it struggles to put out the voice clearly.

Bonus features for The Hustler include three new items not from the DVD released in 2007 which makes up about an hour of the extras. There are features about Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason as well as audio commentary, making of features and even some content about pool.

The bonus content is well worth watching and gives you a great look at all aspects of the film, actors and even some about trick shots in pool. The bonus content works well along with the great film and makes the Blu-ray release of The Hustler a great way to enjoy a classic and learn about all aspects of the film.

The Hustler is one of those movies that will remain a classic for a long time and has become a part of our culture and a definite recommendation for a purchase.