EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|CINCINNATI KID, THE (director: Norman Jewison; screenwriters: from the novel by Richard Jessup/Ring Lardner, Jr./Terry Southern; cinematographer: Philip H. Lathrop; editor: Hal Ashby; music: Lalo Schifrin; cast: Steve McQueen (The Cincinnati Kid), Edward G. Robinson (Lancey Howard), Ann-Margret (Melba), Karl Malden (Shooter), Tuesday Weld (Christian), Joan Blondell (Lady Fingers), Rip Torn (William Jefferson Slade), Jack Weston (Pig), Cab Calloway (Yeller), Jeff Corey (Hoban), Karl Swenson (Mr. Rudd); Runtime: 113; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: John Calley/Martin Ransohoff; MGM; 1965)|
the Hustler, with Steve
McQueen playing stud poker instead of Paul Newman
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
It's the Hustler, with Steve
playing stud poker instead of Paul Newman shooting
Jewison ("In The Heat
Of The Night"/"Jesus Christ
Superstar"/"Fiddler on the Roof") directs it as a
study and writers Ring Lardner,
Jr. and Terry Southern keep it lighweight tight as
they adapt it from Richard Jessup's novel
about an ambitious up-and-coming young
card shark, the Cincinnati Kid (Steve
McQueen), in the New Orleans of the late
took over for Sam Peckinpah when he
was fired by producer Martin Ransohoff for creative
firing that prevented him from working in Hollywood
for a number of
years, as he got labeled as a troublemaker). Iin all
fired director would have made a stronger film.
The Kid is tired of small-time hustle games and
Lancey Howard (Edward
G. Robinson), the reigning poker champ, who is in New
Orleans for a private game with a wealthy
local businessman. After
taking the chump's money, the Kid's honest dealer
friend Shooter (Karl
Malden), arranges a game with the Man. It all leads up
to the big game
between the brash underdog challenger and the aging,
Local businessman Slade (Rip Torn) wants revenge after being badly beaten by Lancey, so he forces Shooter, who is in deep debt to him, to slip some winning cards to The Kid. Once the Kid realizes what's going down he asks for Lady Fingers (Joan Blondell) to deal, as he's determined to win in an honest game.
There's also a romance story thrown in, as the Kid when not playing cards is torn between the love for a "good" woman, his girlfriend Christian (Tuesday Weld), and his lust for Melba (Ann-Margret), a sexy "bad" one, the wife of Shooter (Karl Malden).
REVIEWED ON 4/5/2010 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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