‘Fast Eddie Felson’ and Vincent Lauria in The Color of Money (1986)

Tom Cruise and Paul Newman in The Color of Money. Buena Vista Distribution.

The second appearance on this list for Paul Newman is a sequel to 1961’s The Hustler and finds Newman reprising his role as “Fast Eddie” Felson, for which he won an Oscar. In the original film, he’s a hotshot humbled by Jackie Gleason’s Minnesota Fats. This time, he’s the old hand, and Tom Cruise plays Vincent, the young hotshot who thinks he knows everything.

One of the joys of The Color of Money is how much fun it has with the fact that being good at pool hustling isn’t the same as just being good at pool: Felson has to constantly calculate how good he is compared to his opponent, and mislead his adversary accordingly.

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