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Encyclopedia > Hard Eight (film)
Hard Eight
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Produced by Hans Brockmann,
François Duplat,
Keith Samples
Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring Philip Baker Hall,
John C. Reilly,
Gwyneth Paltrow,
Samuel L. Jackson
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) February 28, 1997
Running time 102 mins.
Language English
IMDb profile

Hard Eight is a 1996 film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson. Robert Ridgely, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Melora Walters also appear. Image File history File links Hardeight. ... Paul Thomas Anderson (born June 26, 1970[1] in Studio City, California) is a two-time Oscar nominated American filmmaker. ... Paul Thomas Anderson (born June 26, 1970[1] in Studio City, California) is a two-time Oscar nominated American filmmaker. ... Philip Baker Hall (born September 10, 1931) is an American actor. ... John Christopher Reilly (born May 24, 1965) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (born September 27, 1972[1]) is an Academy Award-winning American actress and singer. ... “Samuel Jackson” redirects here. ... For alternate meanings of MGM, see MGM (disambiguation). ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Paul Thomas Anderson (born June 26, 1970[1] in Studio City, California) is a two-time Oscar nominated American filmmaker. ... Philip Baker Hall (born September 10, 1931) is an American actor. ... John Christopher Reilly (born May 24, 1965) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. ... Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (born September 27, 1972[1]) is an Academy Award-winning American actress and singer. ... “Samuel Jackson” redirects here. ... Robert Ridgely (December 24, 1931—February 8, 1997) was an American actor and vocal artist, known for both on-camera roles and extensive voice-over work. ... Philip Seymour Hoffman (born July 23, 1967) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Melora Walters (born October 21, 1968) is an American actress born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. ...


The film, originally titled Sydney, was Anderson's first feature; Hall, Reilly, Ridgely, Hoffman and Walters have acted in Anderson's subsequent films.


Plot

SPOILERS:


Sydney, a gambler in his 60s, sees a young man, John, sitting outside a diner and offers to buy him a cup of coffee. When Sydney learns that John is trying to get enough money for his mother's burial, he offers to take him to Las Vegas and teach him how to survive. Though skeptical at first, John eventually agrees. A diner in Freehold Borough, New Jersey This article is about a type of restaurant. ...


Two years later, John, having gotten the money for the burial from Sydney, has stayed in Reno and become Sydney's protégé, and is attracted to Clementine, a casino cocktail waitress revealed to be an occasional prostitute. Shortly after John and Clementine get married, Sydney gets a frantic late-night phone call and arrives at a motel to find the newlyweds holding hostage a customer who refuses to pay for Clementine's services. Afterward, Sydney advises John and Clementine to leave town and head to Niagara Falls for their "honeymoon". Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... For other uses, see Niagara Falls (disambiguation). ... A honeymoon is the traditional trip taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage with seclusion and sexual intimacy. ...


After the two leave, Sydney is confronted by Jimmy, a friend of John's who has worked security at various casinos in the past. Jimmy demands a large amount of money from Sydney, threatening to tell John the truth: that Sydney killed John's father. Sydney acquiesces, but sneaks into Jimmy's house later and shoots him.


Trivia

  • According to Anderson, Rysher Entertainment attempted to re-edit the film but changed its mind after disappointing focus tests. Anderson, with financial help from Paltrow and Jackson, was able to secure the film and release his version, which was retitled Hard Eight, per Rysher's request.
  • The film was expanded from a short film, Cigarettes and Coffee. Anderson was invited to the Sundance Institute Filmmaker Lab, where he took his expanded short script (then Sydney) and developed it under the Sundance banner. Cigarettes and Coffee starred Philip Baker Hall; Anderson met the actor while working as a production assistant on a made-for-television movie.
  • In the 1988 movie Midnight Run, Philip Baker Hall has a small part as a man named Sidney who lives in Las Vegas and is part of the criminal underworld; all traits which happen to be shared with the man he plays in Hard Eight. This seems to suggest the two characters could be one and the same.
  • Jimmy mentions Floyd Gondolli and Jimmy Gator as people both he and Sydney know; Floyd Gondolli is the name of Hall's character in Boogie Nights, and Jimmy Gator is his character in Magnolia.
  • Michael Penn has said that Anderson was listening to his album Free-for-All while writing the script for Sydney, and that the director had spent months trying to get Penn to score the movie before he finally agreed to do it with producer, composer and songwriter Jon Brion. [1]
  • The song that plays over the end credits is sung by Aimee Mann, who would later inspire and provide most of the music for Anderson's film Magnolia.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Rysher Entertainment is the owner of TV and film programming content, primarily distributed around the world by CBS Paramount International Television and Paramount Home Entertainment. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ... For the Konami Arcade Racing game, see Midnight Run (video game). ... This article contains a trivia section. ... It has been suggested that Magnolia (album) be merged into this article or section. ... Michael Penn (born August 1, 1958, in Greenwich Village, New York City) is an American singer and songwriter. ... Jon Brion at The Sunset Tavern in Seattle (photo by Nadja Dee Tanaka) Jon Brion (born 1962) is an American rock and pop multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, composer and record producer. ... Aimee Mann (born September 8, 1960) is an American rock guitarist, bassist, singer, and noted songwriter. ...

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