Written by / 3/19/2013 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

BURT REYNOLDS STARS IN 'HUSTLE' FEATURING CATHERINE BACH

Released 1975 one year after Reynolds/Aldrich The Longest Yard
One of those “stick with it” kind of movies. After the success of the universally entertaining THE LONGEST YARD, director Robert Aldrich reteams with Burt Reynolds in a steamy/gritty cop melodrama that takes a little while to get going.

Hustle Score: ***1/2
Reynolds is Phil Gaines, a bitter, worldweary detective who, living with a high priced prostitute, doesn’t represent the typical law and order existence. After the dead body of a drugged young girl turns up on the beach, Gaines and his partner, Paul Winfield’s Belgrave, write it off as suicide...

But a stubborn, unglued war vet father, played by a frantic Ben Johnson as Marty, can’t let go. Overlong scenes where Burt and hooker girlfriend Nicole... played by Catherine Deneuve... involved in tedious bouts of pillow talk (especially the first ten minutes) distract from the real stuff: Gaines and Belgrave forced to take the investigation seriously as Marty (the father) sneaks around a local mob-run strip club for answers, stalking a seedy high profile lawyer played by YARD villain Eddie Albert.

Ben Johnson chocking Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach) in Hustle
Essential action scenes are thrown in whenever necessary, and yet beneath the surface is character-study of a cop discovering the truth of a victim who, having been involved in stripping and hardcore porn, wasn’t very innocent to begin with. Conversations where Reynolds and Winfield discuss the validity of the case and the futility of life, while delving into pop culture movies and music, are the highlight.

A clean-shaven Reynolds, a few years shy of the signature mustache and mainstream stardom, is fitfully forlorn as a man lost in the Film Noir haze, and director Robert Aldrich makes even the slower parts interesting except those conversations with Deneuve: As a love interest, she’s just not interesting. And despite a tacked-on tragic finale, this cop/melodrama feels more like reading than watching – a good thing provided you won’t be able to put this down once it picks up.
Burt Reynolds with bide time as lovers in Catherine Deneuve in HUSTLE
Catherine "Daisy Duke" Bach in HUSTLE
Longest Yard (same director and actor) villain Eddie Albert with Catherine Bach in Hustle
Opening murder aftermath in a blunt, violent almost unreal Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly) fashion
Great marquee in HUSTLE w/ Burt Reynolds includes the French film A MAN AND A WOMAN
Burt Reynolds and Paul Winfield and a cute Asian down the bar at LAX in HUSTLE
Great Hustle opening credit font
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