[Quick Summary: To win against the great Minnesota Fats, Eddie, a talented (but temper prone) pool shark, must learn what 'character' is.]
I inhaled at "FADE IN" & only exhaled at "THE END."
It seemed as if I'd read one continuous story, & I didn't notice any transitions, sluglines, or breaks.
My heart broke for these characters.
I suppose it's because:
1) they're so flawed & a bit raw, &
2) when they jumped an obstacle, there was a bigger one waiting.
ex. When Eddie takes care of Sarah, it's the first step beyond his self-centeredness. They bond, but soon he gets a chance to compete in another town & must leave her. She never asks him to stay...just that "I made you up, like everything else....I wanted you to be real."
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Character arcs thrive on showing flaws, overcoming obstacles, then making even bigger decisions.
The Hustler (1961)
by Sidney Carroll & Robert Rossen