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Hustle


An eccentric, half successful cop thriller from 1975, HUSTLE features Burt Reynolds as hardened detective Phil Gaines. Bitter, frustrated by the system and battling with his partner Louis (Paul Winfield), Phil is living with high class call girl Nicole, well played by French movie star Catherine Deneuve.

While he and Nicole dream of escaping everything and getting away to Rome, a young woman's body washes up on the beach.

It's soon discovered her last hours were spent with high power attorney Leo Sellers (Eddie Albert) who also happens to be a customer of Nicole's.

The young girls parents (Ben Johnson and Eileen Brennan) feel helpless as "nobodys" watching the rich and famous get away with murder, with her father starting his own investigation into his daughter's last days.

Moments of the film work, but much of the film is hampered by choppy, unprofessional editing and another horrible music score by legendarily bad composer Frank DeVol, whose "talents" appear to have been exhausted on his Disney films.

The script by Steve Shagan, a decent writer, is inexplicably bad, featuring lead character cops that show virtually NO sympathy to the couple that has just lost their daughter, a main character who batters his girlfriend who then magically begins kissing him moments later, a blatantly racist head of the police and a very downbeat ending that feels more desperate than earned.

Reynolds and Deneuve are both pretty good with what they're given, Winfield's a good actor in a poor part and Catherine Bach is featured as the dead girl's roommate, four years before donning her daisy dukes in "Dukes of Hazzard".

This is thirty minutes of a good film wrapped up in one of Director Robert Aldrich's (The Dirty Dozen, The Longest Yard) most inconsistent efforts.

More odd little stroll than Hustle, it gets a C.

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