Directed by Robert Rossen.
Jazzy music by Kenyon Hopkins.
Paul Newman is convincing, particularly in the picnic scene with Piper Laurie.
You're not a loser, Eddie. You're a winner. Best scene.
Piper Laurie and George C. Scott are a potent pair. She calls him “Bastard!”
Jackie Gleason is all body language.
Characters are very real and portayed realistically.
Hotshot pool player 'Fast Eddie' Felson (an arrogantly charming Paul Newman) is an ambitious punk who thinks he can hustle a win over renowned champion Minnesota Fats (a larger-than-life Jackie Gleason). Eddie eventually hits rock bottom until he meets Sarah (a tough, bruised Piper Laurie), who could be his soul mate, and Bert Gordon (startling work by George C. Scott), who could be his biggest gamble. Honest performances and a sharp screenplay evoke a highly realistic story of ambition.