Soundtrack Review: The Hustler

Soundtrack Review: The Hustler

The Hustler Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Hustler by Paul Kenyon.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 100
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 31.9
Album Excellence: 100%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen and starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason & Piper Laurie. “Fast” Eddie Felson is a small-time pool hustler with a lot of talent but a self-destructive attitude. His bravado causes him to challenge the legendary “Minnesota Fats” to a high-stakes match, but he loses in a heartbreaking marathon. Now broke and without his long-time manager, Felson faces an uphill battle to regain his confidence and his game. It isn’t until he hits rock bottom that he agrees to join up with ruthless and cutthroat manager Bert Gordon. Gordon agrees to take him on the road to learn the ropes. But Felson soon realizes that making it to the top could cost him his soul, and perhaps his girlfriend. Will he decide that this is too steep a price to pay in time to save himself? The score is composed by Kenyon Hopkins.

The Hustler has been released a few time before, but this is a world premiere expanded CD score from Intrada Records. Associations can be a good thing, but also quite dangerous. When I think of “The Hustler” I come up with this cool intricate jazzy music. I am basically temp scoring this before I even hear the score. Luckily I don’t have a stake in this film so anything good will do, but here’s the thing, Kenyon delivers almost exactly what I had in mind. When you hear the main theme ‘Main Title (Stop And Go)’ you’ll know what I mean. A wonderful little jazz tune, a little on the seedy side mixing betwen slow and fast tempo. This to me is “The Hustler” that I had hoped to hear. Legendary “Minnesota Fats” gets a cool theme. Don’t try to hustle the hustler as Felson soon finds out.

Yes, The Hustler is as cool as they come, and it’s sexy as hell as you can hear in the seedy and seductive ‘Sarah’s Theme’, a wonderful throwback to sexy jazz. There’s more sexiness where that came from and you’ll find out soon with cues like ‘Fast Buck’ and others how gorgeous it’s sounding. The sound quality is truly top notch. I couldn’t hear a single artifact in the sound and I carefully listened. The music really spreads around in my headphones and doesn’t matter if it’s low or high volume, it sounds magnificent. For someone who loves jazz, specially in movies, this score must be on your shopping list. There’s just no way you can miss this amazing score, a true gem in the art of jazz film scoring.

HIGHLIGHTS:
1. Main Title (Stop And Go)
2. Minnesota Fats
3. The Loser
4. Sarah’s Theme
5. 4 Flights Up
6. Fast Buck
7. Small-Time Charlie
8. Bert’s Theme *
9. Contract With Depravity
10. All Thumbs
11. Dining Out
12. Derby Time
13. Lipstick On A Mirror
14. The Winner
15. End Title

GD Star Rating
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Soundtrack Review: The Hustler, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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