Watch Now: HUSTLE
Written by novelist-turned-screenwriter Steve Shagan and directed by Robert Aldrich, Hustle is a 1975 neo-noir crime film starring Burt Reynolds, Paul Winfield, Catherine Deneuve and Eddie Albert, with Ernest Borgnine in a small supporting role. While filming The Longest Yard, Reynolds gave Shagan’s script to Aldrich, who agreed to direct it on the condition they get Deneuve to agree playing the role of a call girl instrumental to the plot and the main character’s development. After she accepted, Reynolds and Aldrich founded their own company (called Roburt) to make the picture. The film was initially titled City of Angels, which was later tentatively renamed into Home Free.
Even though Aldrich didn’t think Reynolds was on the top of his game like he was in The Longest Yard, the critics disagreed and praised both the cast’s performances and the script’s character development and storytelling techniques. Made on a budget of roughly three million dollars, Hustle earned three times that amount in its first ten days of showing. A cleverly designed neo-noir with a carefully structured story, Hustle remains one of the highlights of American 1970s crime cinema and is a joy to go back to every once in a while.