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Pool Movies! (The Ultimate, Definitive Pool Movie List For Your Review)

All the celluloid that's fit to shoot

By

pool movie, the pool movie, pool movies, pool and movie, movie with pool, paul newman, the hustler

Paul Newman stole the show in the pool movie of all time, The Hustler

Photo courtesy of Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
We salute a pool movie--actually, a list of very hot Pool, Three Cushion Billiards and Snooker movies to die for and dive into.

My personal recommendations for lovely pool and storytelling both are marked (*)

9-Ball (2012) starring Jennifer Barretta, Jeanette Lee and Allison Fisher

Bad Boy (1935) with Dorothy Wilson

Behind the Nine (2003)

Billy The Kid and the Green Baize Vampire (1987) - a musical (Yes, a musical!) featuring some excellent Snooker play

Chalk (2000)

Hard Knuckle (1987) - apocalyptic Sci-Fi dystopia movie (lose a game, lose a finger!)

*Kiss Shot (1989 - TV Movie) with Whoppi Goldberg, Dennis Franz and Dorian Harewood (who developed a great draw stroke for the film)

Kisses and Caroms (2006) aka American Pool

Number One (1985 - TV Movie) with Bob Geldof, Alfred Molina featuring Snooker

Pool Hall Master (1998)

Pool Sharks (1915) with W.C. Fields, Bud Ross

Poolhall Junkies (2002) with Rod Steiger, Christopher Walken featuring Nine Ball

Running Out (2001)

Shooting Gallery (2005) aka "Pool House Prophets" with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Ving Rhames and featuring Nine Ball

Snooker Balls-Up (1994) with British comedian Jim Davidson and featuring Snooker

Stickmen (2001) featuring Eight Ball

*The Baltimore Bullet (1980) with James Coburn, Omar Sharif

• *The Baron And The Kid (1984 - TV Movie) Starring Johnny Cash

• *The Color of Money (1986) with Paul Newman, Tom Cruise and featuring Nine Ball

• *The Hustler (1961) Starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason, featuring mostly 14.1 Continuous Straight Pool

The Player (1971) with Minnesota Fats, Jerry Como

Turn the River (2007) with Famke Janssen and featuring One Pocket

Up Against the 8-Ball (2004)

Rounding out the list are some movies that show a bit of pool, some more prominently than others. Can you find the pool table in M*A*S*H*, for example?

Goldfinger (1964) Starring Sean Connery and Honor Blackman

Fight Club (1999) with Brad Pitt, Ed Norton

Guys and Dolls (1955) with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra

M*A*S*H* (1970) with Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould

The Cincinnati Kid (1965) with Steve McQueen, Ann Margaret

The Music Man (1962) with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones

The World Is Not Enough (1999) Starring Pierce Brosnan and Denise Richards

And many A-list actors make brief but memorable appearances at pool tables in Carlito's Way (Al Pacino), Devil In A Blue Dress (Denzel Washington), Heaven's Gate (Kris Kristofferson), Oceans Eleven and Robin and the 7 Hoods (Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack), Racing With The Moon (Nicholas Cage), Shamus (Burt Reynolds), Steelyard Blues (Jane Fonda), Tin Men (Danny DeVito), My Geisha (Shirley MacLaine), to name but a select few.

There are all kind of A- and B-films with pool and billiards games, too, of course, like the "exciting" Graveyard Shift II: The Understudy (1988). TV has likewise featured great pool matches such as• "The Great McCarthy" episode of Miami Vice

• Two versions of "A Game of Pool" for The Twilight Zone (1961 starring Jack Klugman and Jonathan Winters and remade in 1988 starring Esai Morales)

"The Dead Spy Scrawls" episode of Get Smart

And check out these foreign language films, including unusual pool, snooker and billiards action:

Carambola (2007) - Spanish, available with English subtitles, featuring Three Cushion Billiards

Carambola, Filotto... Tutti en Boco (1975) featuring Three Cushion Billiards

Casablanca, Casablanca (1985) - Italian sequel to Io, Chiara e lo Scuro featuring the game of Goriziana

El Embustero (1985) - Spanish film

En este pueblo no hay ladrones (1985) - Spanish film

Ett Paradis Utan Biljard ["There Are No Thieves in This Village"] (1965) - Spanish film

Death Billiards (2013 anime short available online)

En Este Pueblo No Hay Ladrones ["In This Town There Are No Thieves"] (1964 - Mexican film)

Hagiga Ba'Snuker ["Party at the Snooker"] (1975 - Israeli film)

Il Tocco: la Sfida ["The Touch: The Challenge"] (1997 - Spanish film)

Io, Chiara e lo Scuro ["The Pool Hustlers" aka "Me, Chiara and the Dark"] (1983) - Italian film featuring the game of Goriziana)

Il signor Quindicipalle (1998) - second Italian "Goriziana" sequel to Io, Chiara e lo Scuro

Isa-Isa Lang! (1985) - Filipino film, available online in Tagalog

Istoriya odnoy bilyardnoy komandi ["The Story Of One Billiard Room"] (1998)

Klassik (1998 - Russian film)

Lemon Tree Billiard House (1996)

Legend of the Dragon (1990) featuring Snooker and top Snooker player, Jimmy White

Operacion Carambola (1968) - Spanish film

Pakners ["Partners"] (2003) with Efren Reyes, Candy Pangilinan - Filipino film, available online in Tagalog

Seven Billiards Tables (2007 - Spanish)

The Desperate Prodigal (1981 - Chinese film edited and re-released as "Equals Against Devils") - bionic pool shooters(!) and gun-toting mafiosos(!)

Wandering Ginza Butterfly (1972) - Japanese film featuring Three Cushion Billiards

What are your favorites to add to this list? Send them in by e-mail...

This list owes a debt to the fine work of Jason Moss, an avid pool player and cinephile, who combines these passions in his marvelous 8 Ball on the Silver Screen blog.
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