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Oscar Vault Monday – The Hustler, 1961 (dir. Robert Rossen)


This is one of those films that sucks you into its world and doesn’t let up for a moment until it’s over. Then afterwards you realize you’ve forgotten to breathe for two and a half hours. This is definitely one of Paul Newman’s best performances, though pretty much all of Paul Newman’s performances are his best because, like Jack Lemmon, Newman is always good. The Hustler was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning two: Best B&W Art Direction (won), Best B&W Cinematography (won), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor Jackie Gleason, Best Supporting Actor George C. Scott, Best Actress Piper Laurie, Best Actor Paul Newman, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Fanny, The Guns of Navarone, Judgement at Nuremberg and winner West Side Story.

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