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Written by / 3/18/2020 / No comments / , , , , , , , , ,

MARTIN SCORSESE'S 'THE COLOR OF MONEY' WITH PAUL NEWMAN

Paul Newman gets annoyed again in Martin Scorsese's THE COLOR OF MONEY Year: 1987
If it’s difficult for the viewing audience to put up with an overly cocky Tom Cruise, donning a ridiculous raised-flattop hairdo resembling a greased-up landing strip, and an obnoxious toothy grin that never ceases, how do you think Paul Newman’s character, a middle-age-plus Fast Eddie Felson from THE HUSTLER, feels about training such a annoying, pompous punk while peripherally attempting his own comeback?

The answer is what the movie's all about: Felson’s subtle reemergence from a successful high-end liquor salesman back into the pool hall dives he once frequented. And Cruise, while an important character who's more effective and less assinine when his flashy guard lets down, is but a cog in that wheel.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio with Paul Newman & Tom Cruise in THE COLOR OF MONEY Rates: ***1/2
To risk a cliché expression, Newman gives a performance of a lifetime: Mostly in his struggle with Cruise’s egotistical Vince character, who has the skills of a pool shark but doesn’t like to lose small to win big i.e. which is the textbook definition of hustling: The slipping in and out of the con-game are actually some of Cruise's best moments.

Meanwhile, the road movie aspect... the trio going from pool hall to pool hall while Vince learns the ropes... make for some unrelentingly edgy entertainment, which is classic-cinema-loving director Martin Scorsese's forte...
John Turturro coked up in THE COLOR OF MONEY with Paul Newman
On the "better half," Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, as Vince’s streetwise girlfriend, initially works better against Newman than with Cruise – and the director's RAGING BULL extra John Turturro makes a few appearances as a coked-up player formerly in Eddie's stable. And later, Cruise's most genuine competition is with real-deal pool champ Keith McCready as the awesomely-named Grady Seasons...

But the real push is Scorsese’s particular underrated direction during the peak of his powers between the Neo Noir comedy AFTER HOURS and his peak/pinnacle mob epic GOODFELLAS: the camera gliding with the action of each shot while the sport itself resembles its own majestic religion.
Paul Newman as the hustler getting hustled (Forrest Whitaker) in The Hustler sequel The Color of Money
Backed by his KING OF COMEDY composer Robbie Robertson (from The Band ala Martin's THE LAST WALTZ documentary) providing a rich, soulful soundtrack while smokey tunes by Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Warren Zevon and Eric Clapton light up the pool halls.

One particular scene, where extreme underdog Forrest Whitaker subtly hustles THE HUSTLER, is a standout, and the entire film keeps a strong pace and delivers: as long as you keep your eyes on the main character, Newman's Fast Eddie, who reminds us when to feel annoyed or anything else for that matter: it's not only his sequel, it's his ride!
Tom Cruise vs real life pool shark  Keith McCready (Grady Seasons) in The Color of Money
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Tom Cruise and Paul Newman in The Color of Money
Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in THE COLOR OF MONEY
Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in THE COLOR OF MONEY
 Keith McCready "It just keeps getting worse" as Grady Seasons in THE COLOR OF MONEY
Paul Newman, Helen Shaver & Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in THE COLOR OF MONEY
Paul Newman facing Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in THE COLOR OF MONEY
Paul Newman facing Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in THE COLOR OF MONEY
Paul Newman facing Bruce A. Young and Bill Cobbs in THE COLOR OF MONEY
John "Don't F--k with the Julian" Turturro gets ready to lose to Cruise in THE COLOR OF MONEY
The Color of Money. "While the sport itself resembles its own majestic religion." Directed by Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese breaks Tom Cruise learning to hustle in THE COLOR OF MONEY
Tom Cruise as Vince in Martin Scorsese's THE COLOR OF MONEY
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio facing Paul Newman in THE COLOR OF MONEY
Paul Newman and Tom Cruise shaking egos in THE COLOR OF MONEY
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