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Vatican newspaper pays tribute to 1961 film The Hustler

July 11, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has paid tribute The Hustler five decades after the film’s release.

“Fifty years ago among its neat tables, and sayings hung on the walls, in the dim light of a room on 44th street, Minnesota Fats moved around better than any professional dancer,” writes Emilio Ranzato. “Fat like a baby, punctual as a clock, elegant like a 1930s gangster, Fats shot the balls in one after the other, solemnly declaring where they would go as if they were articles of the Constitution in a country where he was king.”

“The hypnotic eyes of Paul Newman,” adds Ranzato, “are real protagonists of real stories.”


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  • Posted by: Triptbishop - Jul. 11, 2011 11:48 PM ET USA

    The Hustler is much better than the L'Osservatore's rather ersatz observations make it sound. It is the story of a self-centered young man who learns a valuable lesson in dying to self. And, instead of emulating Fats, he grows a character that comes only from suffering and the redemption wrought by self-giving love. The best performance by far comes from Piper Laurie.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 11, 2011 4:06 PM ET USA

    This is in the Osservatore Romano? Would someone please give the critic a cold shower?