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Hard Eight

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Hard Eight

Writer / director Paul Thomas Anderson’s brilliance was already readily on display in his debut feature, the intricate and absorbing Hard Eight. When a stranger (Philip Baker Hall) with a mysterious past crosses paths with a destitute gambler (John C. Reilly) on the road to Las Vegas, the calm, older professional will take the young loose cannon under his wing and teach him the tricks of the gambling trade. But when their fates become entangled in Reno with a waitress / sometimes-prostitute (Gwyneth Paltrow) and an ominous man (Samuel L. Jackson) with secrets of his own, it could signal the end of their partnership. Because if you stay in the game long enough, you’ll see everything, win everything, and lose everything.

“A near-classic in a minor key, and a must-see for fans of later work.” – Brett Ashley, Film4

“Anderson’s screenplay is full of superb dialogue and has some unexpected twists.” – Ed Scheid, Boxoffice Magazine

“Movies like Hard Eight remind me of what original, compelling characters the movies can sometimes give us.” – Roger Ebert

Director
Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring
Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, F. William Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Year
1996
Rated
R
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
102 minutes

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