The Colour of Money is an American Sports film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film stars Tom Cruise and Paul Newman, with Helen Shaver, John Turturro and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, in supporting roles.
The film is predominantly about a high stakes game of nine-ball pool and a pool hustler.
The Main Story
A former pool hustler “Fast Eddie” (Paul Newman) decides he wants to return to the game but this time with a pupil. He meets talented Vincent (Tom Cruise) and sees that he and his girlfriend Carmen ( Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ) could become hustlers with a bit of guidance.
They form a partnership, and Eddie teaches Vincent how to hustle, and scam whilst Carmen lures players to the pool table. The 3 of them go on a tour through the country to hustle at the various pool halls.
However, Vincent’s tendency to brag and therefore warning potential players off and losing money, soon leads to a confrontation with Eddie.
Eddie has become frustrated with Vincent’s showboat antics, and the partnership is dissolved.
However, they get back together when Vincent agrees to rein in his bragging and arrogance.
Eddie is inspired to play again after watching numerous pool games, so he gets himself a pair of corrective sunglasses and has some modest wins.
However, one day he gets taken by another pool shark and is left feeling humiliated. Eddie leaves town but leaves Vincent and Carmen with enough money to make it to Atlantic City.
The Colour of Money highlights hustling opponents and how their lives become consumed by mistrust and unhappiness, all for that adrenalin rush of winning.
The movie also has an ambiguity surrounding the female characters viewed as objects of comfort and fear and beings that these two men desire and loathe themselves for wanting.