Originally a screenwriter, Robert Rossen directed several stylistically impressive postwar movies including BODY AND SOUL (1947) starring John Garfield as a boxer pressured to take a dive; and ALL THE KINGS MEN(1949), from Robert Penn’s Warren’s novel about political corruption, which won Best Picture.
Soon after, he ran afoul of HUAC witch-hunters, resisted for a time, and then took a dive. Rossen surely identified with Paul Newman’s pool-shooting ‘Fast’ Eddie Felson, a man squeezed between dangerous forces and his own ambitions. THE HUSTLER looks and feels like the last ‘40s Film Noir, its oppressive visuals set off by brilliant performances.
Alongside Newman’s brooding lead is Piper Laurie as his tragic love, a coiled George C. Scott as a shifty gambler, and comedian Jackie Gleason in a subtle dramatic part.Cast member and special guest Piper Laurie will attend this screening.
Robert Rossen is an award-winning Hollywood writer, director and producer whose career spanned nearly three decades. Rossen started his film career as a screenwriter for Warner Bros in the the 1930s before going on to direct several postwar movies including BODY AND SOUL (1947) and the Academy Award-winning film, ALL THE KING’S MEN (1949). THE HUSTLER was also nominated for nine Oscars, and took home two.