56” x 93” Unframed 71” x 108” Framed Edition of 12
37” x 61” Unframed 52” x 76” Framed Edition of 12
The 1961 movie The Hustler won two Oscars and, along with The Color of Money, is probably the most famous Hollywood pool film. Based on the novel with the same name by Walter Tevis (1959), it tells the story full of ups and downs of the talented “Fast” Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) and his encounters with the legendary Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). In the movie, players were always heavy gamblers, smokers and drinkers which contributed to the “bad boy” image of pool. There is nothing that can be sugar coated about pool; it is not an activity for the earnest or the clean living. It is a game for drinkers and hustlers.
I felt no need to earmark a Fast Eddie or Minnesota Fats in this pool game, shot in a dive bar on Route 66 near Flagstaff, Arizona but I did feel an urge to make the bar full of cowboy mischief. I also wanted to throw in some 1960s glamour (Josie Canseco) and - just for good measure - a wolf. Wolves are always good visual metaphors for mischief.
Whilst my intent was playful, my direction was for everyone on set to be deadly serious and focused. The cowboys in the background understood my instructions, but I am not sure what some of them were truly focused on.
I thought Clint Eastwood from a Fistful of Dollars would be a good addition to any dive bar along Route 66. Who would not want to be in that saloon right now?
~ David Yarrow