Hard Eight is a 1996 American Crime movie directed by Paul Anderson. The film’s main stars are Philip Baker Hall, John Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L Jackson and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The original title of the film was initially called “Sydney” the name of the main character.
An unsuccessful gambler is befriended by a professional conman who offers to teach him the tricks of the trade. He accepts – but a romance with a waitress threatens his new life.
The Main Story
Sydney, ( Phillip Hall ) is a hardened gambler who finds a miserable young man, John ( John Reilly ), sitting outside a diner in Vegas. He buys him coffee and learns that John needs $6,000 to pay for his mother’s funeral. He offers to teach John how to gamble.
John becomes Sydney’s protégé and is treated as a Son. John befriends a chap called Jimmy who is attracted to Clementine, a cocktail waitress and Part-time Prostitute.
Sydney meets Clementine and tries to connect John and Clementine who land up impulsively getting married. Soon after the marriage, Sydney receives a frantic phone call and goes to a motel where he finds John and Clementine holding a tourist hostage. The tourist was a client of Clementine who had sold herself to the tourist for sex. The tourist refused to pay, so John and Clementine beat him up and then phone Sydney.
Sydney tells them to go on their honeymoon while he removes the evidence from the motel room.
The tourist recovers and tracks Sydney down at the diner, shooting him three times before leaving to find John and Clementine.
After the shooting, the audience assumes Sydney is dead, but it ends with the scene of him walking into the diner and covering a bloodstain with his shirt cuff.