Walter S. Tevis' The Hustler spans the years 1955 to 1986. The Hustler has appeared in short story, novel, television and movie form and includes the 1961 Paul Newman film and the 1986 sequel The Color of Money.
The Hustler has enjoyed a long history in print, television and the movies. It's the now-classic story of "Fast" Eddie Felson, a young, cocky pool hustler from Oakland, California, who takes on the old pro Minnesota Fats, hoping to become the unofficial straight pool champion of the world. Here's the complete The Hustler short story, book, TV and movie history timeline. Rack 'em up!
1955 - "The Big Hustle" by Walter S. Tevis (1928-1984) is published in the August 5, 1955, edition of Collier's. Tevis' short story is set in a pool hall.
Walter and Jamie (Griggs) Tevis in 1960 - wiredforbooks.org
1957 - "The Hustler" by Walter S. Tevis is published in the January 1957 edition of Playboy. "Fast" Eddie Felson and Minnesota Fats comprise the story's principal characters.
1959 - The episode "Goodbye Johnny" is telecast over NBC-TV's Alcoa Theatre on February 9, 1959. Starring Cliff Robertson, the segment's lead character bears an uncanny resemblance to Tevis' Eddie Felson in his short story "The Hustler."
1959 - The Hustler by Walter S. Tevis, an expansion of his 1957 short story, is published by Harper & Row. Featured is pool hustler "Fast" Eddie Felson, who pines to be the number one straight pool player in the land.
1961 - Twentieth Century-Fox releases the film version of The Hustler on September 25, 1961. Produced, co-written (with Sidney Carroll) and directed by Robert Rossen, The Hustler stars Paul Newman as "Fast" Eddie Felson, the young pool hustler who comes to New York City to challenge Jackie Gleason's Minnesota Fats, the reigning king of straight pool. George C. Scott (Bert Gordon), Piper Laurie (Sarah Packard), Myron McCormick (Charlie Burns), Murray Hamilton (Findley) and Michael Constantine (Big John) also appear. Made for an estimated $2 million, The Hustler rakes in nine Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Newman), Best Supporting Actor (Gleason, Scott), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie), Best Black-and-White Cinematography (won) and Best Black-and-White Art Direction-Set Decoration (won).
Paul Newman, right, with technical advisor Willie Mosconi on the set of The Hustler (1961) - Twentieth Century-Fox
1964 - Twentieth Century-Fox re-releases The Hustler to movie theaters.
1984 - The Color of Money by Walter Tevis is published by Warner Books. The novel traces the last 25 years of Eddie Felson's life and includes a reunion with his old nemesis Minnesota Fats. The novel differs from the 1986 movie of the same name.
1986 - Touchstone Pictures releases The Color of Money, the long-awaited movie sequel to 1961's The Hustler on October 17, 1986. Directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Richard Price, The Color of Money stars Paul Newman as Eddie Felson, the pool aficionado from The Hustler who now works as a liquor salesman, taking young gun Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise) under his wing and teaching him the art of the pool hustle. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Carmen), Helen Shaver (Janelle), John Turturro (Julian) and Bill Cobbs (Orvis) also appear. Made for $13.8 million, The Color of Money is a box-office success and earns four Academy Award nominations: Best Actor (Newman, won), Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Mastrantonio) and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.
Tom Cruise, left, and Paul Newman in The Color of Money (1986) - Touchstone Pictures
The Hustler/The Color of Money Short Story, Novel, TV & Movie History Credits
- Top image: The Hustler 1961 lobby card featuring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason - Heritage Auctions
Copyright © 2011 William J. Felchner