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That's absolutely not true, since in the movie Newman wasn't an unknown trying to sneak up on Gleason,...
**And anyway, he was crushing Gleason in game after game until the whiskey took over and got him broke. He couldn't have done that while lemoning with a stroke as crude as his.
The truth is that Newman was indeed chosen for reasons that had nothing to do with pool, but the entire pitch of the movie was that it was a realistic depiction of the hustling scene. One of the first things that they did was to put Newman under Willie Mosconi's wing, in order that he didn't make a complete farce out of the premise that he was a legitimate phenom. And with a lot of patience on Mosconi's part, and a lot of strategic editing, they largely succeeded in at least taking him above the Tom Cruise edition of pool's Mendoza line. It wouldn't fool any player in the audience, but that that's not exactly a critical mass of the target crowd.
I'm not remotely on the pro level, because pros are defined above all by their consistency.
Or the, good grief, "Hispanic" race,
We may be just talking around each other here, and I apologize if I wasn't clear. My point is only that "the way [Newman] handles a cue" isn't consistent with anyone who'd be capable of "beating the hell out of Fats", regardless of whether or not he wound up going broke after the alcohol sunk in.
Who am I missing? I'm sure there are several
OK, who was the best actual baseball player/actual actor ever?
- Johnny Berardino
- Chuck Connors
- Wes Parker
- Kurt Russell
- Bill Murray
I realize that it didn't matter to the filmmakers that Newman had an amateur's stroke. But there's nothing to indicate that they would've wanted him to hold back if his stroke looked as smooth as Gleason's. It's easy to see why they were perfectly willing to settle for a reasonable facsimile of a pool player when the rest of the package gave them a superb actor like Newman, but it's hard to believe that they deliberately held him back in that regard.
The Tevis novel had been optioned several times, including by Frank Sinatra, but attempts to adapt it for the screen were unsuccessful. Director Rossen's daughter Carol Rossen speculates that previous adaptations focused too much on the pool aspects of the story and not enough on the human interaction. Rossen, who had hustled pool himself as a youth and who had made an abortive attempt to write a pool-themed play called Corner Pocket, optioned the book and teamed with Sidney Carroll to produce the script.
Good directors will often look at how people who *are* really good do things, and very specifically NOT film them that way, because it is unconvincing to the target audience.
So you think that if the former Major Leaguer Chuck Connors had been cast in a baseball movie, the audience would have been turned off? Was the audience turned off when the future champion Max Baer was cast in a lead role as a heavyweight contender?
and they very specifically chose not to do that.
Could be, I suppose, but where's the evidence for that? I've read many stories about Mosconi's training of Newman, and not one of them ever said that they told him not to teach him too much.
why would deliberately making (only) Newman look worse be a sensible strategy?
The thing about Newman in the film is that the way he handles the cue is consistent with the personality of a guy who beats the hell out of Fats but still finds a way to lose to him. That's acting. Give him a smooth stroke and he's more convincing to you as a top-flight pool player, but gives a less convincing performance as Fast Eddie Felson, the jumpy alcoholic who picks up a gimp in a bar at 9 in the morning.
Who am I missing? I'm sure there are several.
No one in a profession thinks the movies get it right. There have been a whole lot more movies about lawyers and the law than pool, and lawyers are always deriding something in them as being inauthentic. There probably are but a handful of people who appreciate the niceties that Jolly Old insist are necessary for the movie and Newman's performance to be realistic.
And it's not as if I'm demanding perfection. I found Chadwick Boseman's mimicking of Jackie Robinson's form to be perfectly credible in "42", which I just saw today. And since Tom Selleck once hit a ball into the upper deck at Tiger Stadium, I doubt if I would have found much to kvetch about in Mr. Baseball.
I'm usually the first person to say "Let it go, it's just a movie" when it comes to these things.
It's funny; I don't care about stuff it'd take external knowledge to catch ("That's clearly a later-model Ford, so the whole movie is ########"),
but it really bugs me when movies aren't true to their own internal reality: for example, once you've thoroughly established that a character is so lazy and atrophied that he's literally never stood on his own feet, you can't just have him stand up (and be super-strong) late in the movie, simply because the plot demands it.
"That's right: you were a low-ball hitter."
Bud Selig to create task force on blacks in baseball
Someone should tell Selig there's no such thing as blacks. Problem solved.
And while it doesn't have any bearing on The Hustler (emphasis added for Jack and Morty's sake),...
The Cincinnati Kid? A lot of the drama peaked as the card game was played out, I remember, but I haven't seen it since it came out.
DAD always said stay out of poolrooms, and obviously he was right, to judge by what one sees in "The Hustler," which came to the Paramount and the Seventy-second Street Playhouse yesterday. For the characters one meets in the succession of sunless and smoky billiard halls (to use a more genteel term for them) that are tenanted in the course of this tough film are the sort to make your flesh creep and whatever blood you may have run cold.
Indeed, one character says in the beginning that a pool-room looks like a morgue and "those tables are the slabs they lay the stiffs on."
We're glad we took the good advice of Dad.
But this doesn't say the weird assembly of pool players, gamblers, hangers-on and hustlers—especially the hustlers—which they used to call "pool sharks" in our youth, are not fascinating and exciting to watch at a safe distance from the screen. They're high-strung, voracious and evil. They talk dirty, smoke, guzzle booze and befoul the dignity of human beings. At least, the hustlers' wicked betting managers do. They have a consuming greed for money that cancels out charity and love. They're full of energy and action.
That's the virtuous quality of this film....
Next - Howard has Q-(J)-8 suited, Kid has (A)-10-10. Kid bets what he thinks is the best hand, Howard raises, maybe trying to bluff that he's got QQ and get the Kid to fold 10-10-X. Kid calls.
For that matter, the George C. Scott role in The Hustler was melodramatized and exaggerated to the point of absurdity,...
Actually, PP, that hand was an excellent test of who the better player was, and if that's your criterion for absurdity in film, I've got a few real howlers for you.
Yeah--hard to see why the Kid is calling there.
Jack, you posted one image
Piper Laurie's role was obviously one of the major components of the Newman character, and vital to the plot for that reason. But for the great part of the movie she wasn't even on the screen,
Don't ever feel back about throwing out mass market books or common books of any kind, since there's always going to be an oversupply of them.
It's not what you buy; it's what you don't buy.
Probably not, and while great vision is a help on a handful of long cut shots, keeping yourself perfectly still and keeping your stroke fluid is infinitely more important. I got lasik about 12 years ago, but while my vision's gone since then from 20/15 to 20/25 and I've also acquired glaucoma, none of that has affected my game at all.
And anyway, the real secret of champions is never leaving yourself with long shots. To paraphrase St. Vincent, position isn't everything, it's the only thing.
Same way with me for golf - I've barely played in the last 15 years, but give me 10 rounds and I can beat almost anyone who started after age 25. Played HS varsity golf, and that's a lot of rounds...
Historically it seemed to have been easier for pool players to adapt to snooker than vice versa, but OTOH many of the best players in the world today grew up in England playing snooker on the English 6x12.
Willie Mosconi once made 526 straight balls and he led Greenleaf in world titles, but he had a stroke in 1957 and retired to the exhibition circuit. Even Danny D finds himself relegated to the exhibition song and dance occasionally, and one of the best players in the world, Steve Mizerak, teaches school in New Jersey. Probably the only one who makes a good living from the game is Rudolf Walter Wanderone Jr., Minnesota Fats. Wanderone used to be called New York Fats, but he changed his first name after The Hustler came out, and he became a celebrity.
Well, long shots that require a lot of draw (backspin) are hard for anyone, and the power stroke required to execute them is absolutely essential for playing nine ball or ten ball at a high level.
What makes ten ball much harder is that the diamond shaped rack in nine ball is much more conducive to scattering the balls on the break
This may sound comical considering the source, but I've always considered straight pool to be a game for old men.
I've also often wondered why at least some women can't break as hard as the top men, because muscle mass has absolutely nothing to do with the speed you can impart to the cue ball.
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