THE COLOR OF MONEY

You're good, kid, but you'll never be as good as me(1986)
Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver, John Turturro, Keith McCready, Forest Whitaker
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Reviewed by JL and JB

     One of director Martin Scorsese’s most commercial films, THE COLOR OF MONEY teams the number one leading man of the baby-boomer generation (Paul Newman) with the number one leading man of the Brat Pack era (Tom Cruise). The film is something of a sequel to Newman’s 1961 classic THE HUSTLER in that it picks up on the life of Fast Eddie Felson some 25 years later.  Eddie is now retired from hustling and competitive pool and makes a comfortable living as a liquor salesman. But he longs to return to the action when he encounters Vincent Lauria (Cruise), a wild and undisciplined young shark with an abundance of natural talent. A more glossy and much less significant film than THE HUSTLER, THE COLOR OF MONEY is nevertheless a solidly entertaining drama that finally won for Newman a long-overdue Oscar for best actor. 4 - JL

     THE COLOR OF MONEY is a mainstream 1980s film with Scorsese doing an excellent job of not making a great "Scorsese" film.  Instead, he made a great Paul Newman vehicle.  THE COLOR OF MONEY is far from Scorsese's best, but it is an excellent showcase for Newman.  Tom Cruise was obviously a star in the making at the time, and exuded vast amounts of annoying charm and energy, yet he cannot touch the master, who is in a class by himself, emphasis on "class". 3½ - JB

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