Cinema: Chalk Opera

The Hustler (20th Century-Fox), commercially speaking, is a long-shot money ball that will probably hit the public's pocket like a rocket and rack up an impressive score. Artistically speaking, it is an amusingly mangled myth, an epos in a pool hall, a ceremony of chivalric valor on the Field of the Cloth of Green.

The hero (Paul Newman) is a raucous young crown prince of the cue who challenges the king (Jackie Gleason) to do battle for his throne. For 36 hours without intermission, they have at each other: now hacking fiercely at the glistening balls, now waving their cues exquisitely, like...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!