The movie, The Hustler, is a study of human character and the flaws we all fight with every day. The movie revolves around two huge pool matches, but the story of human struggle is where the director takes the characters through the view of seedy pool halls, empty bus stations and depressing hotel rooms. Roger Ebert wrote of the movie, "There are only a handful of movie characters so real that the audience refers to them as touchstones. Fast Eddie Felson is one of them."(Ebert, 2003) In this paper we will look at how the characters and drama are developed through the dialog and the effect use of their surroundings.
The director of The Hustler, Robert Rossen, went through a lot of personnel hardship to get to the chance to get this movie made. In nineteen forty-seven Robert Rossen was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and forced to admit that he was sympathetic to the communist cause and name those who he knew were also part of the communist foundation. At his first hearing he refused to admit anything and did not name names of those people he worked with who were communist sympathizers. He was subsequently blacklisted from Hollywood and struggled to make movies. .
In 1953, he came forward and admitted to being involved with the communist sympathizers and named those who he knew were also involved. Rossen was allowed to continue working, but chose not to return to Hollywood. His subsequent output was uneven, but not without successes. "The Hustler" (1961) is a moody poolroom drama with its roots in an unproduced Rossen play, "Corner Pocket" ("Rosen," n.d.) Robert Rossen wrote about the human struggle and made it come alive in his writing of the characters, Fast Eddie Felson and Sarah Packard played by Piper Laurie. Alan Casty wrote of the movie," For as George C.