The Hustler

The Hustler quotes

54 total quotes (ID: 921)

Bert Gordon
Eddie Felson
Others
Sarah Packard


Gordon: I want to talk to you.
Sarah: Do we need words?
Gordon: Yeah, I think we do. We could try to cut each other up, but that would be bad for everybody. Bad for me, bad for you. Worst of all, it would be bad for Eddie.
Sarah: You know what's good for him.
Gordon: To win.
Sarah: For whom and for what?
Gordon: For what makes the world go 'round. For money - and for glory.
Sarah: You didn't answer my first question. For whom?
Gordon: Today for me, tomorrow for himself.
Sarah: No, there's no tomorrow, not with you. You own all the tomorrows because you buy them today - and you buy cheap.
Gordon: Nobody has to sell.
Sarah: You bastard.
Gordon: Listen, Miss Lady Bird. You're here on a rain-check and I know it. You're hangin' on by your nails. You let that glory whistle blow loud and clear for Eddie, and you're a wreck on a railroad track. You're a horse that finished last. Now don't make trouble, Miss Lady Bird. Live and let live - while you can! [chuckling] I'll make it up to you.
Sarah: How?
Gordon: You tell me.


You know, I gotta hunch, Fat Man. I've gotta hunch it's me from here-on in...I mean, did that ever happen to you? When all of a sudden, you feel like you can't miss? 'Cause I dreamed about this game, Fat Man. And I dreamed about this game every night on the road...You know, this is my table, man, I own it...

Big John: [to Charlie Burns] Take your boy and go home. Fats don't need your money. There's no way you can beat him. Nobody's beat him in fifteen years. He's the best in the country.

Eddie: Fat Man, you shoot a great game of pool.
Minnesota Fats: So do you, Fast Eddie.

Minnesota Fats: You shoot a good stick.
Eddie: They say Minnesota Fats is the best in the country out where I come from...They say that old Fats just shoots the eyes right off them balls.
Minnesota Fats: Big John? Do you think this boy is a hustler? [to Eddie] Do you like to gamble, Eddie? Gamble money on pool games?
Eddie: Fats, let's you and I shoot a game of straight pool.
Minnesota Fats: A hundred dollars.
Eddie: Well, you shoot big-time pool, Fats. I mean, that's what everybody says, 'You shoot big-time pool.' Let's make it two hundred dollars a game.
Minnesota Fats: Now I know why they call you 'Fast' Eddie. Eddie, you talk my kind of talk.

Boy! Everybody, everybody wants a piece of me.

Sarah: Leave now.
Eddie: Grow up.
Sarah: Why should I?
Eddie: Sarah, I'm going to Kentucky to play pool with a guy by the name of Findlay. Now I need the action and I need the money. I told ya I'd be back.
Sarah: If you were going to come back, you wouldn't have taken me out tonight, you wouldn't have bought this dress. You're hustling me, Eddie. You've never stopped hustling me.
Eddie: No, I never hustled you, even when I thought I was, and you know it.
Sarah: What do you want me to do, just sit here and wait, your faithful looking Sarah. Pull all the shades down and sit. When you feel like coming back, you'll come back and you'll love me, and then you'll go away again. Is that your idea of love?
Eddie: I got no idea of love. Neither of you, I mean, neither one of us would know what it was if we saw it comin' down the street.
Sarah: I'd know it, Eddie. I'd know it. For God's sakes, what are you trying to do to me? I love you.
Eddie: Well, what's your idea of love - chains?
Sarah: I made you up, didn't I, Eddie? You weren't real. I made you up, like everything else. There was no car crash, Eddie. When I was five, I had polio. I was never an actress. The 'rich old man' is my father. He walked out on us when I was seven. He sends me a check every month. That's how he buys his way out of my life. The men I've known - after they've left, I'd say they weren't real. I made them up. But you, Eddie, I wanted you to be real. I'm so scared. I'm scared.

Eddie: When I'm goin', when I'm really goin', I feel like a, like a jockey must feel when he's sittin' on his horse, he's got all that speed and that power underneath him, he's coming into the stretch, the pressure's on him - and he knows. He just feels, when to let it go and how much. 'Cause he's got everything workin' for him - timing, touch. It's a great feeling, boy - it's a real great feeling - when you're right and you know you're right. Like all of a sudden, I got oil in my arm. Pool cue's part of me. You know, it's a - pool cue, it's got nerves in it. It's a piece of wood; it's got nerves in it. You can feel the roll of those balls. You don't have to look. You just know. You make shots that nobody's ever made before. And you play that game the way nobody's ever played it before.
Sarah: You're not a loser, Eddie. You're a winner. Some men never get to feel that way about anything. I love you, Eddie.

Gordon: I don't think there's a pool player alive who shoots better pool than I saw you shoot the other night at Ames. You got talent.
Eddie: So I got talent? So what beat me?
Gordon: Character.
Eddie: Sure, sure.
Gordon: You're damn right I'm sure. Everybody's got talent, I got talent. You think you can play big-money straight pool or poker for forty straight hours on nothing but talent? You think they call Minnesota Fats the best in the country just cause he got talent? Nah, Minnesota Fats's got more character in one finger than you got in your whole skinny body.
Eddie: I got drunk.
Gordon: He drank as much whiskey as you do.
Eddie: Maybe he knows how to drink.
Gordon: You bet he knows how. You think that's a talent too, huh, knowin' how to drink whiskey? You think Minnesota Fats was born knowin' how to drink?
Eddie: OK, OK, what do I do now? Lie down on the floor and, uh, bow from the ankles? What do I do, go home?
Gordon: That's your problem.
Eddie: So I stay. I stay until I hustle up enough to play Fats again. And maybe by that time, I'll develop myself some character.
Gordon: [chuckling] Maybe by that time you'll die of old age. How much do you think you'll, uh, need?
Eddie: A thousand.
Gordon: Naw, three thousand at least. He'll start you off at five hundred a game, he'll beat the pants off ya. That's the way he plays when he comes up against a man who knows the way the game is. He'll beat you flat four or five times, maybe more, depending on how, uh, steady your nerves are. Then he might, just might be a little scared of ya, and that could change things, but I wouldn't count on it.
Eddie: How do you know, huh, when nobody knows that much?
Gordon: You see that big car parked out by the fireplug on your way in? Well, that's mine. I like that car. But I get a new one every year, because I make it my business to know what guys like you and Minnesota Fats are gonna do. I made enough off you the other night to pay for it twice over.

Eddie: Well, you don't leave much when you miss, do ya Fat Man?
Minnesota Fats: That's what the game's all about.

Eddie: Sarah, do you think I'm a loser?
Sarah: A loser?
Eddie: Yeah. I met this guy, Gordon, Bert Gordon. He said I was a born loser.
Sarah: Would he know?
Eddie: He knows a lot.
Sarah: Why did he tell you?
Eddie: I don't know, I'm not sure. He said there are people who, uh, who want to lose, who are always lookin' for an excuse to lose.
Sarah: What does he do, this Bert Gordon?
Eddie: He's a gambler.
Sarah: Is he a winner?
Eddie: He owns things.
Sarah: Is that what makes a winner?
Eddie: What else does?
Sarah: Does it bother you what he said?
Eddie: Yeah. Yeah, it bothers me a lot. Cause you see twice, Sarah, once at Ames with Minnesota Fats, and then again at Arthurs, you know, in that cheap, crummy pool room. Now why did I do it Sarah, why did I do it? I could've beat that guy, I could've beat him cold. He never would have known. But I just had to show him. Just had to show those creeps and those punks what the game is like when it's great, when it's really great. You know, like anything can be great, anything can be great. I don't care - brick-laying can be great if a guy knows. If he knows what he's doin' and why and if he can make it come off.

Gordon: Fats went into the john, see, washed his face, cleaned his fingernails, made his mind a blank, combed his hair, came back all ready to go. You were through. You saw him, you saw how he looked, clean, all set to start all over again. Hold tight and push hard. And you know what you were doin'? You were waitin' to get beaten, flattened down on your butt, swimmin' around in glory and whiskey. You were probably decidin' how you can lose.
Sarah: What makes you know so much? How do you know what Eddie was thinking?
Gordon: I know. I've been there myself. We've all been there, haven't we, Miss Packard?...[To Eddie] How's your hand?
Eddie: Fine.
Gordon: Good. I'd hate to think I was puttin' my money on a cripple.
Eddie: Hey, what do ya say somethin' like that for?
Sarah: It's alright, Eddie. I'm sure Mr. Gordon meant no offense. It's a figure of speech.
Gordon: That's right, Miss Packard.
Sarah: A fact is a fact.
Gordon: Smart girl, Eddie.

Gordon: Eddie, you're a born loser.
Eddie: What's that supposed to mean?
Gordon: First time in ten years I ever saw Minnesota Fats hooked, really hooked. But you let him off.
Eddie: I told you, I got drunk.
Gordon: Sure you got drunk, the best excuse in the world for losin'. No trouble losin' when you got a good excuse. And winning - that can be heavy on your back too, like a monkey. Drop that load too when you got an excuse. All you gotta do is learn to feel sorry for yourself. That's one of the best indoor sports, feelin' sorry for yourself. A sport enjoyed by all - especially the born loser.

How much am I gonna win tonight? Ten grand, I'm gonna win ten grand in one night. Well, who's gonna beat me?...I mean, what other pool room is there in the country where a guy can walk out with ten grand in one night

Sarah: What else have we got? We never talk about anything. We stay in this room and we drink and make love. We're strangers. What happens when the liquor and the money run out, Eddie? You told Charlie to lay down and die. Will you say that to me too? What happens, Eddie?
Eddie: Just buy yourself another rich old lover.
Sarah: That's right, and I'm sure you'll help me.
[Eddie viciously slaps her across the face.]
Sarah: You waiting for me to cry? You bum. You pool-room bum.