The Hustler (1961)
Racking up nine Academy Award® Nominations, including Best Picture,* this powerful and provocative cinematic masterpiece explodes on screen – as never before – on Blu-ray! Paul Newman electrifies in his brilliant portrayal of Fast Eddie Felson, an arrogant hustler whose unbridled ambition drives him to challenge legendary pool player Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) — but the stakes are higher than either of them can imagine.
*1961: Best Picture, Directing, Actor (Paul Newman), Actress (Piper Laurie), Supporting Actor (Jackie Gleason), Supporting Actor (George C. Scott), Art Direction (B&W – won), Cinematography (B&W – won), Adapted Screenplay.
'The Hustler' Run Time: 135 mins, Audio Format: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
20th Century Fox brings us a pristine transfer with its Blu-ray debut of 'The Hustler'. Being one of my favorite films, I was excited to get this Blu-ray, and I was not disappointed. Paul Newman, Piper Laurie, Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott are all at the top of their game, adding a layer of depth to this dark tale of greed, loneliness, and dreams. Its black and white presentation adds to the grit and raw emotion that 'The Hustler' is not afraid of showing. Yes its a film about a pool shark trying to excel above the seedy pool hall con game, and prove he is the best out there; but it so much more than that. More than half the film is centered around his extremely unhealthy relationship with Piper Laurie's Sarah, and is an action-less drama that works amazingly well. To me this film is like wine, and seems to just get better with age. Paul Newman is at his best here, and should have won best actor--which was paid back when he was given the honor for playing the same character in 1986s sequel, 'The Color Of Money'
This AVC encoded transfer is stunning. Blacks are inky with amazing definition in shadows, fine details are surprisingly visible in a film of its age, and I cant seem to find a fault. Considering the source and its age, this is sure to not disappoint. The DTS HD Master Audio is decent, and gets the job done, but the source is lacking and this reworking didn't add much. Thankfully dialogue was never an issue, which is the most important part. I preferred the original mono mix which is also included. The disc is packaged in a 24 page color DigiBook, which is quite nice, and it is jam packed with 3 hours of extras features, 1 hour of which is new content for this release. This is highly recommended for fans, and anyone who is yet to experience the brilliance of Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson.