Paul Newman will be remembered on Friday, Feb. 20, when Peninsula College and the Port Townsend Film Festival's Movable Fest bring "The Hustler" and "The Color of Money" in a special double billing of two of Newman's best films.
Both films will be shown in the college's Little Theater in Port Angeles starting at 6 p.m.
"The Hustler" tells the story of small_time pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson and his desire to prove himself to be the best player in the country by beating legendary pool player "Minnesota Fats."
After losing to Fats and getting involved with an unscrupulous manager, Eddie returns to beat Fats but only after paying a terrible personal price for events he had set in motion.
Film and theater historian Ethan Mordden identified "The Hustler" as one of a handful of films from the early 1960s that redefined the relationship of films to their audiences.
This relationship, he writes, is "one of challenge rather than flattery, of doubt rather than certainty."
No film of the 1950s, he asserted, "took such a brutal, clear look at the ego_affirmation of the one_on_one contest, at the inhumanity of the winner or the castrated vulnerability of the loser."
"The Hustler" was a major critical and popular success, quickly gaining a reputation as a modern classic.
Its exploration of winning, losing and character garnered nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Newman, Best Actress for Piper Laurie, and Best Supporting Actor for Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott.
In the end, "The Hustler" won two awards - for Best Art Direction_Set Decoration, Black_and_White and Best Cinematography, Black_and_White.
Newman also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, Gleason and Scott for Best Supporting Actor, and Scott as Best New Star of the Year. At the 1962 BAFTA Awards, "The Hustler" tied with the Soviet film "Ballad of a Soldier" for Best Film from Any Source. Newman won for Best Foreign Actor and Piper Laurie was nominated for Best Foreign Actress.
"The Hustler" was named among the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures 10 best films for 1961. In 1997, the Library of Congress selected "The Hustler" for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."
In 1986, Newman reprised his role as Fast Eddie Felson in "The Color of Money," for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film continues the story of Edward "Fast Eddie" Felson from "The Hustler." The film also stars Tom Cruise and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
"In The Color of Money," Fast Eddie has left the pool world behind for a life as a liquor salesman, but he misses the action of his former glory days and goes back on the road as a stakehorse for a skilled but unfocused protégé.
Eddie teaches his protégé how to hustle but becomes increasingly frustrated with both of their performances, and the two have an explosive falling_out and part ways.
Eddie resumes competitive play himself, first hustling on the road and later in the professional tournament circuit. Eventually he meets his old protégé, who by now is a successful hustler himself.
The two agree to a match and Eddie beats him, only to learn that his former protégé threw the game and had money riding against himself. Eddie forfeits the match and convinces his former student to play him again. The film ends with Eddie proclaiming, "I'm back."
In addition's to Newman's win as Best Actor, the film was nominated for three other Oscars: Best Supporting Actress, Best Set Decoration and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Admission is $5, or $1 with a current student ID.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
For a complete company directory with contact information please click HERE.