Billiards and movies get along well. The proof is that more than 60 films have been made with billiards as protagonists, as the Billiards Movies blog collects. Some of these films have even become great cinematic classics, like The Hustler or The Color of Money. They have often created a biased image of billiards, but at least they have contributed to spreading it. In this week's article, we highlight five of these movies so you can enjoy them now that vacations are coming.
1- The Hustler 1961
With no doubt, The Hustler is a masterpiece. So it received two Oscars.
Based on the novel with the same name by Walter Tevis (1959), it tells the story full of ups and downs of the talented "Fast" Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) and his encounters with the legendary Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). In the movie, billiards are always surrounded by gambling, tobacco and alcohol, which contributed to the current bad image of pool. Even so, The Hustler was vital to resurrect billiards in the United States when it had fallen into decline after the World War I. .
2- The Color of Money 1986
Along with The Hustler, Martin Scorsese's The Color Money is the second greatest billiard film ever. Again with Paul Newman as protagonist (with this film won his first Oscar). It is a sequel to The Hustler that occurs 25 years later. Former champion Eddie Felson (Paul Newman), discovers young player Vincent (Tom Cruise) and become fellow travelers. Again, bets and dark environments. In a way, billiards are just an alibi to talk about what really matters: money.
3- The Baltimore Bullet 1980
Nick Casey, dubbed "The Baltimore Bullet", is a veteran pool hustler scouring the halls for his prey. Casey trains the young Billie Joe Robbins and both plan to face the legendary gambler The Deacon, who only plays if there is at least $ 5,000 on the table. In the film also appear by making cameos mythical players like Willie Mosconi, Steve Mizerak, Lou Butera, Irving Crane, Richard Florence, Jimmy Mataya or Michael Sigel. It is not as well recognized as the first two, but it is also worth seeing.
4- Poolhall Junkies 2002
Johnny (Mars Callahan) could be one of the best pool players in the world, but he lives under Joe (Chazz Palminteri), a dark hustler who trains him and decides how and with whom he should play. The film clearly shows how imposition and obligation is not always the road to success. It is a very realistic film full of spectacular shots, which suggests that the actor and director Mars Callahan loves the sport.
5- Turn the River 2007
Billiards becomes an outlet for Kailey, a player forced to win and move to Canada to ensure a better life for her son. Kailey wants to win the title of Best Player to take her son away from her alcoholic ex-husband. Yes, it seems that without alcohol there is no billiard movie possible.
It is clear that most films that deal with pool do so by pulling on unrealistic topics and stereotypes, but better than being invisible, right?
Have you watched these five films? Which one do you prefer? Admit it, you've also felt like Paul Newman.