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Paul Newman definitely belongs to the narrow circle of the greatest and best American actors of all time. But while most actors of his generation won their Oscars at the peak of their careers and in their best years, Newman, just like, say, Al Pacino in the case of the only award for “Scent of a Woman”, won the only Oscar for a film that was not even close to his best role . The award for the role of the old billiards player and swindler Fast Eddie Felson in Martin Scorsese’s drama is partly compensation for the previous six nominations to nothing, and it is interesting that he was nominated for the role of the same man exactly a quarter of a century earlier. Of course, we are talking about the legendary “Hustler” by Robert Rossen, when Maximilian Schell won the Oscar for the main male role for “The Nuremberg Trials”.

And while in the 1961 film Eddie Felson was at the peak of his pool and con skills, now he’s a guy in his sixties who has retired from pool, and besides selling alcohol in Chicago, he still organizes pool matches as a hobby in the local bar. And these are typical matches in which his player Julian (John Turturro in one of the first roles) tries to get the players to bet money with him, thinking that it is a trumpet to inflate them when the stakes increase. But the old passion will awaken in Eddie when the young and charismatic Vincent (Tom Cruise is the perfect choice for the arrogant and swaggering young man) dismantles his pullen. The situation is all the better because Vincent already has a partner for drawing money, girlfriend Carmen (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and Eddie is sure that he has found a tandem with which he could extract a nice amount of money from pool players all over America.

However, the only question is how much Vincent is willing to learn, and not in terms of billiards, where he is probably the best player Eddie has ever seen, but in hustling, cheating, tactics and chemistry in order to get as much money as possible from his rivals. The money won is twice as sweet as the money earned, the experienced fox explains to the young and stubborn talent while trying to teach him how to be the best in the latter, not only billiards, but at the same time, the old fire will awaken in Eddie and the desire to try billiards again. . Although “The Color of Money” certainly does not belong to the very top of Martin Scorsese’s work, it was an extremely interesting, dynamic, exciting film full of twists and surprises, and in which Newman’s performance should be primarily enjoyed.

Although he should have won the Oscar a long time ago, this time the award went to him more than he deserved and just like the case with “Rain Man” filmed a year or two later, it is obvious how dominant Newman is compared to Tom Cruise, just like was the case with Dustin Hoffman. In addition to Newman winning the Oscar, “The Color of Money” had three other nominations (supporting female role, adapted screenplay and production design), and one of the rivals on the tour of America that Vincent will beat with half strength was Iggy Pop.