Published December 5, 2016
What’s surprising to modern audiences is how adult “The Hustler” feels more than a half-century after it first hit theaters.
I’m not talking in terms of violence, sex or language. Released in 1961, “The Hustler” was released under the watchful eye of the Motion Picture Production Code, so any mature material had to be careful hidden. But the movie feels adult in a way that few movies from that era can match. The characters seem like grown-ups, their lives seem lived-in and their problems aren’t something that will be solved when the end credits roll.