Hard Eight Craps

Hard Eight Craps

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Hard Eight
Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson
Produced byRobert Jones
John Lyons
Screenplay byPaul Thomas Anderson
Based onCigarettes & Coffee
by Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring
Music byJon Brion
Michael Penn
CinematographyRobert Elswit
Edited byBarbara Tulliver
Distributed byThe Samuel Goldwyn Company
  • January 20, 1996 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • February 28, 1997 (United States)
102 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$3 million
Box office$222,559[1]

Hard Eight (originally titled Sydney[2]) is a 1996 American crime film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson in his feature directorial debut. It stars Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson.[3]

Plot[edit]

Sydney, a senior gambler, finds a young man, John, forlornly sitting outside a diner in Sparks, Nevada. He offers to give him a cigarette and buy a cup of coffee. Sydney soon learns that John needs $6,000 to pay for his mother's funeral. He offers to drive John to Las Vegas and teach him how to gamble and survive. Although John is skeptical at first, he agrees to Sydney's proposal.

Two years later, John has become Sydney's protégé. Sydney is calm and reserved, and displays a fatherly care for John, who is unsophisticated and not overly intelligent. John has a new friend named Jimmy, who does security work, and he is attracted to Clementine, a cocktail waitress in Reno. Sydney meets Clementine, and learns that she moonlights as a prostitute and is much less sophisticated than John. Although Clementine believes that Sydney might want to sleep with her, Sydney wants to build a connection between her and John. Casino online betfair. Sydney asks John to show Clementine around the town. After receiving a frantic phone call, Sydney goes to a motel, where he finds John and Clementine holding a tourist hostage, a client of Clementine who did not pay her $300. John reveals that he and Clementine had impulsively gotten married, and she then sold herself to the tourist for sex. The tension is heightened because John and Clementine have called the hostage's wife, threatening to murder him if they do not get the money. They do not have a plan after killing the hostage. Sydney manages to calm the situation, advising John and Clementine to leave town and go on honeymoon. After the two leave, Sydney removes the evidence from the motel room.

Sydney meets with Jimmy, who threatens to tell John that Sydney had killed John's father years ago unless Sydney gives him $10,000. Jimmy then points a gun at Sydney, threatening to kill him. They go to Sydney and John's suite where Jimmy explains that he is from back east, where he heard stories of how Sydney killed John's father in Atlantic City. Sydney gives Jimmy $6,000 cash, and they part ways. John calls from a roadside phone to update Sydney regarding the honeymoon journey. During the call, Sydney tells John that he loves him like a son. Sydney sneaks into the house and kills Jimmy in order to retrieve the money. The next day, Sydney returns to the diner and covers a bloodstain with his shirt cuff.

Cast[edit]

  • Philip Baker Hall as Sydney
  • John C. Reilly as John Finnegan
  • Gwyneth Paltrow as Clementine
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Jimmy
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman as young craps player
  • Robert Ridgely as Keno Bar Manager
  • Melora Walters as Jimmy's Girl

Production[edit]

Originally titled Sydney, it was Anderson's first feature film, and was the expansion of the short film Cigarettes & Coffee.[4][5] The main character of Sydney, was named after the previous one in Midnight Run. Hall, Walters, Reilly and Hoffman later appeared in Boogie Nights and Magnolia.

Hard Eight Craps

Best Way To Throw Dice In Craps

Release[edit]

The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.[6] In 2018, Anderson said he was working on a Blu-ray release of the film.[7]

Reception[edit]

Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four, writing 'Movies like Hard Eight remind me of what original, compelling characters the movies can sometimes give us.'[8] Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote 'Hard Eight is not a movie that wants to make a grand statement. It is really little more than a small resonant mood piece whose hard-bitten characters are difficult to like. But within its self-imposed limitations, it accomplishes most of what it sets out to do. And the acting is wonderfully understated, economical and unsentimental.'[9] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 80% based on 45 reviews, with an average rating of 6.89/10. The website's critical consensus states: 'An absorbing showcase for Philip Baker Hall, Paul Thomas Anderson's feature debut is a gamble that pays off handsomely.'[10] It is described by some authors as a neo-noir film.[11]

Hard Eight Craps

References[edit]

  1. ^Hard Eight at Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^'Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Hard Eight', AKA 'Sydney': 'It's Always Good to Meet a New Friend' • Cinephilia & Beyond'. Cinephilia & Beyond. 2020-09-10. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  3. ^Conrad, Mark T. The Philosophy of Neo-Noir, 2009. The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN081319217X.
  4. ^Mottram, James (2006). The Sundance Kids : how the mavericks took back Hollywood. NY: Faber & Faber, Inc. p. 129. ISBN9780865479678.
  5. ^Waxman, Sharon R. (2005). Rebels on the backlot: six maverick directors and how they conquered the Hollywood studio system. HarperCollins. p. 87. ISBN978-0-06-054017-3.
  6. ^'Festival de Cannes: Hard Eight'. Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  7. ^Anderson, Paul Thomas (January 16, 2018). 'I'm Paul Thomas Anderson, writer and director of PHANTOM THREAD, AMA!'. IAmA. Reddit.
  8. ^Ebert, Roger (February 27, 1997). 'Hard Eight'. RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC.
  9. ^Holden, Stephen (February 28, 1997). 'Suspense-Filled Puzzle Draped in a Dark Mood'. The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  10. ^Hard Eight at Rotten Tomatoes.
  11. ^Conard, Mark T.; ed. (2009). The Philosophy of Neo-Noir. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN081319217X.

What Is A Hard Eight

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Hard Eight (film)
  • Hard Eight at the American Film Institute Catalog
  • Hard Eight at IMDb
  • Hard Eight at AllMovie
  • Hard Eight at Box Office Mojo
  • Hard Eight at Rotten Tomatoes
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