Pool hustler “Fast Eddie” Felson was the best of the best with a cue. Now he’s a disillusioned liquor salesman. Until he notices young Vincent playing in a bar. Eddie convinces the highly gifted pool player to head for the championships in Atlantic City and along the way, Vincent emerges as quick and eager to learn. Exactly how much he’s learned from Eddie becomes clear when they face off against each other … In The Color of Money (a “sequel” to the 1961 classic The Hustler, directed by Robert Rossen) the camera, echoing the pool balls, is in constant motion. Sometimes it roams freely, sometimes it glides sinuously around the two men and, almost like an erotic, beguiling “bank shot”, ensnares Vincent’s attractive girlfriend Carmen in the game. Michael Ballhaus’ dolly shots, pans and zooms made edits superfluous. What emerges is a flow of concentrated and ecstatic imagery. Vincent’s hyperactive demeanour reaches its acme during the “billiard ballet”, with the camera masterfully circling Tom Cruise, while finding moments of calm in close-ups of Paul Newman – who won an Oscar for the role.
by Martin Scorsese
with Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver