Fast Eddie’s Back, But Is He Happy?
We return to the world of hustlers and pool halls with Martin Scorsese’s 1986 film The Color of Money. Paul Newman’s back and this time he’s the elder statesman of the game, kind of in the manager role George C. Scott had as Bert Gordon in the original 1961 film The Hustler. It doesn’t seem he’s very good at it though. That is, until he spots Tom Cruise’s Vincent. From there, things shift and we end up getting a story that isn’t necessarily what we were expecting, but still an interesting one. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our look at the ‘Fast Eddie’ films with a conversation about Scorsese’s 1986 film The Color of Money.
Here’s a hint at what we talk about.
The character journey for ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson is an interesting one. It doesn’t necessarily work all the time, and the film feels a bit muddled throughout the middle, but it builds to an interesting beat for our protagonist that ends the film. This journey leads us down a few roads. The first is the pairing of Paul Newman with the young and popular Tom Cruise. While it may be hard through today’s eyes to see Tom Cruise in a film and not expect him to be the lead, that also seems to be part of the issue of this film and its muddled middle. It seems to be setting up Cruise as the protagonist with Newman as the background manager role. But it’s not the story we get, and so it might be too much to have Cruise in the role. Or maybe it’s just that the character arc for Eddie doesn’t quite feel like it’s getting us there in a way that makes sense. We certainly debate this point enough.
We also talk about the women in the film and how each lends an interesting exploration for Felson’s character. There are also some great supporting roles that John Turturro and Forrest Whitaker play with great life. And Scorsese, paired with Michael Ballhaus and Thelma Schoonmaker, brings a lot of life to the film. We have a great time talking about it, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!
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