Director: Martin Scorsese
Writter: Walter Tevis (novel) and Richard Price
Tom Plays: Vincent Lauria
Status: ON DVD
A former pool player returns to the game and takes on a young protege.
Continuity: After playing Vincent, Eddie disassembles his cue stick twice.
Continuity: As the camera zooms in on a fresh rack, the red 3-ball is clearly on Eddie’s left behind the yellow 1-ball with the blue 2-ball on Eddie’s right. But as camera swings around and follows the cue-ball to the break, the blue 2-ball is on the left (viewers and Eddie’s) and the red 3-ball on the right.
Continuity: Eddie’s reflection is in the 3-ball is not reversed.
Factual errors: When Eddie is playing Amos (and still winning), he plays a kick shot combination with the 6 and the 9. The 3 ball is clearly still on the table, making Eddie’s shot illegal for 9 ball.
Crew or equipment visible: As the camera circles around Eddie and his girlfriend dancing, a camera is momentarily visible in the mirror on a pillar in the room.
Continuity: Vincent’s glass switches hands between shots when he, Carmen and Eddie are having dinner at the beginning of the movie.
Continuity: There are many situations where after making a shot the cue ball is shown to be in one place on the table and then before the next shot the cue ball has moved to a slightly different place on the table.
Continuity: When Eddie is in the hotel room with a scantily clad Carmen he locks the door before he rushes her, but he doesn’t unlock the door when he leaves.
Factual errors: When Vincent is playing Grady Seasons in the tournament, at one point, he shoots and misses an easy shot of the eight ball into the side pocket. While the camera moves with the shot, you see that the three ball is still on the table on the other side rail, indicating that he is aiming for balls out of order of nine-ball rules.
Continuity: When Vince is letting Eddie know he dumped the match between the two he refers to his banked 5-ball but it’s actually the 3-ball he banked and missed.
Vincent Lauria: I think maybe the money’s what’s throwing you off here today.
Eddie Felson: Do you smell that?
Vincent Lauria: What, smoke?
Carmen: No, Money…
Vincent Lauria: Hey Grady. Up your ass with the spot. Is that OK with you?
Grady Seasons: [Laughs] That’s fine by me.
Eddie Felson: You’re some piece of work… You’re also a natural character.
Vincent Lauria: [to Carmen] You see? I been tellin’ her that. I got natural character.
Eddie Felson: That’s not what I said, kid. I said you *are* a natural character; you’re an incredible flake.
[Vincent’s smile fades; Eddie continues] Eddie Felson: But that’s a *gift*. Some guys spend half their lives trying to invent something like that. You walk into a pool room with that go-go-go, the guys’ll be *killing* each other, trying to get to you. You got that… But I’ll tell you something, kiddo. You couldn’t find Big Time if you had a road map.
Eddie Felson: How much did you take off Moselle? I heard a hundred…
Vincent Lauria: One Fifty!
Eddie Felson: [sarcastically] A hundred and fifty?
Vincent Lauria: That’s right, a hundred and fifty.
Vincent Lauria: You walk into a shoe store with a hundred and fifty bucks, you come out with one shoe! We were working on five thousand!
Vincent Lauria: [Eddie has just run the table] Pretty damn good.
Eddie Felson: Not bad for a blind man. Rack ’em.
Vincent Lauria: Yes sir, boss. Rack ’em up for Mr. Fast Eddie!
Eddie Felson: I haven’t played serious pool since before you were born, and right off the bat, I’m layin’ ’em to waste! Watch this. Nine on the break…
Eddie Felson: Did you ever hear of a hustle called Two Brothers and a Stranger?
Vincent Lauria: Yeah, uh, that’s the guy in the Bible with the many colored coats, right?
[grins widely; Eddie and Carmen look disgusted] Vincent Lauria: Hey, what’s wrong with you guys? It’s a joke, okay?
Eddie Felson: Did I get through to you last night, kiddo? ‘Cause if I didn’t, I’ll run it by you another way. If you’d have kicked ass in any other place but Chalkie’s, Atlantic City would be dead for us. The Guys Never Leave The Street. Otherwise, it’d be all around.
The voice explaining 9-ball is director Martin Scorsese’s.
Tom Cruise did his own trick shots for the film, except for one in which he had to jump two balls to sink another. Scorsese said he could have let Cruise learn the shot, but it would have taken two extra days of practice, holding up production and costing thousands of dollars. The shot was instead performed by professional player Michael Sigel.
Many top pool players of the 80’s were part of the cast and/or provided assistance, such as Steve Mizerak (“The Miz”) who was the hefty player Eddie beat in Atlantic City; Jimmy Mataya (“Pretty Boy Floyd”), who was accompanying Julian (John Turturro) when he saw Eddie in Atlantic City; Keith McCready, who played Grady Seasons; and others such as Michael Sigel and Ewa Mataya Laurance (who at the time was Jimmy Mataya’s wife) acted as pro shot makers and advisors who set up the shots for the actors.
Paul Newman says the best advice director Martin Scorsese gave him, especially in humorous scenes, was: “Try NOT to be funny.”
Director Cameo: [Martin Scorsese] In the Atlantic City casino, the man walking a dog on a leash. The dog is Scorsese’s dog Zoe. Zoe is credited in the closing credits as “Dog Walkby.”
Director Cameo: [Martin Scorsese] Breaks the rack at 1:30:20.
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