‘The Color of Money’ (1986) – Movie Review

The Color of Money (1986)
Martin Cid

The Color of Money is a movie of 1986 directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a continuation of The Hustler (1961), by Robert Rossen. Starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise.

When Mr. Scorsese was not as acclaimed (yet), he did this movie which was a bit of a “filler”, which has become one of the reference movies about American pool.

Story line of The Color of Money

El Color del Dinero (1986)
The Color of Money (1986)

Eddie Felson, an old pool player, reappears as a whiskey merchant when he meets Vince, an outstanding pool player. Together they embark on a father-son type of voyage of discovery.

The Movie. Review

This is not Scorsese´s best movie, it is not even a somewhat personal movie, it is just another movie in his filmography that rests on some video-clip moments (cool music and lots of changes of shots in a very “Eighties” style). The movie resorts to all sorts of commercial formulas, yes, but it has one great advantage: It is Scorsese and a Scorsese of rhythm, agile script, daring narrative who, besides telling interesting stories, does so in an efficient, daring and entertaining way.

This is not as daring a movie as others penned by him, it is not a 100% Scorsese movie but it is a notable film in which Paul Newman shines (he finally won an Academy Award for this movie and it wasn´t even his best acting role), paired with Tom Cruise, as a handsome dude in Cocktail style in those movies that made him so famous and helped him become the mega-star he is today.

El Color del Dinero (1986)
The Color of Money (1986)

In all, and above all thanks to movies made later, this is almost a classic that is not comparable with its predecesor and does not even look like it. There is nothing of the dark tone, the melancholic reflections and the cruel and lying characters in Rossen´s movie: This movie is a Hollywood type movie, much blander and even likeable, optimistic and with a very happy tone about second chances in life and about a young guy that brings hope to an older guy.

Mind you, considering this as a light movie… in comparison with Cocktail… if we compare with other classics of the Eighties such as a  Friday 13… then I guess it is a song about philosophy and a reflection about time and solitude.

You decide.

P.S: The music (of the Eighties) is very cool.

Our Opinion

It is still worth watching. It ages, yes, but it is still an “Eighties” movie of those times in which anything you got out of the video rental store had something good about it. And this is by Scorsese so it has more good things than bad ones.


Martin Scorsese

Martin Charles Scorsese (born November 17, 1942) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. One of the major figures of the New Hollywood era, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential directors in film history. Scorsese’s body of work explores themes such as Italian-American identity, Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, faith, machismo, nihilism, crime and sectarianism. Many of his films are known for their depiction of violence and the liberal use of profanity. Scorsese has also dedicated his life to film preservation and film restoration by founding the nonprofit organization The Film Foundation in 1990, as well as the World Cinema Foundation in 2007 and the African Film Heritage Project in 2017.


Paul Newman / Eddie ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson
Tom Cruise / Vincent Lauria

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio / Carmen

John Turturro / Julian

Helen Shaver
Bill Cobbs
Robert Agins
Alvin Anastasia
Randall Arney
Elizabeth Bracco

See full credits >>

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