The Hitter (1980)

R | 94 mins | Drama | 4 January 1980

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HISTORY

       According to the 21 Nov 1978 Var and the 21 Dec 1978 The Evening Independent, the film received the gold medal for “best first feature” at the 1978 “Greater Miami Film Festival.” In addition, actor Adolph Caesar won an award for his supporting role, and Jacques Haitkin received a gold medal for cinematography.

      The following acknowledgements appear in the end credits: “Special Thanks to Gage Gentlemen’s Corner; Paul Brooks Boutique; Linda Lynn; Trotta’s Gym, and The City of Baltimore for their ... More Less

       According to the 21 Nov 1978 Var and the 21 Dec 1978 The Evening Independent, the film received the gold medal for “best first feature” at the 1978 “Greater Miami Film Festival.” In addition, actor Adolph Caesar won an award for his supporting role, and Jacques Haitkin received a gold medal for cinematography.

      The following acknowledgements appear in the end credits: “Special Thanks to Gage Gentlemen’s Corner; Paul Brooks Boutique; Linda Lynn; Trotta’s Gym, and The City of Baltimore for their cooperation.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
The Evening Independent
21 Dec 1978
p.14.
Variety
21 Nov 1978
p. 1, 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Kaleidoscope Films, Ltd. and ADGO Productions Present
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Best boy
Key grip
2d grip
Still photog
Prod laboratory
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Cost coord
MUSIC
Orig mus by
SOUND
2d soundman
Re-rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff consultant
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Fight coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Post prod supv
Post prod supv
SOURCES
SONGS
“The Hitter,” composed and performed by Garfeel Ruff, produced by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford, for Wishbone, Inc.
“Can’t Quit,” composed and performed by Garfeel Ruff, produced by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford, for Wishbone, Inc.
“Don’t Count On Me,” composed and performed by Garfeel Ruff, produced by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford, for Wishbone, Inc.
+
SONGS
“The Hitter,” composed and performed by Garfeel Ruff, produced by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford, for Wishbone, Inc.
“Can’t Quit,” composed and performed by Garfeel Ruff, produced by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford, for Wishbone, Inc.
“Don’t Count On Me,” composed and performed by Garfeel Ruff, produced by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford, for Wishbone, Inc.
“Street Hustlin’,” composed and performed by Garfeel Ruff, produced by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford, for Wishbone, Inc.
“'Layback' [One Nighter]," composed and performed by Garfeel Ruff, produced by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford for Wishbone, Inc.
“You’re In Good Hands,” performed by A Taste of Honey
“Distant,” performed by A Taste of Honey
“Golden Time Of The Day,” performed by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
“I Wish You Well,” performed by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
“Jump Street,” performed by Raul de Souza
“Fortune,” performed by Raul de Souza
“'Bring on the Love' [Why Can’t We Be Friends]," performed by Gloria Jones.
+
PERFORMER
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
4 January 1980
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 4 January 1980
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex cameras by Panavision; Prints in Metrocolor
Duration(in mins):
94
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25405
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Otis arrives in town carrying his custom cue stick, a shoeshine boy directs him to the best pool hustler in town. At the pool hall, Otis watches Louisiana Slim play, challenging the hustler to a game of nine-ball. Slim agrees, but takes Otis’ cue stick, forcing Otis to use Slim’s. The pool hall manager, Nathan, takes the bets and racks up the balls. Otis makes shot after winning shot until Slim’s associate jostles him, and puts an end to his domination. When Slim takes his turn at the table, he misses his shot. When Otis wins the game, he slams Slim’s associate on the pool table and shoves a gun in his face. After Slim says that Otis has entered a world of trouble, Otis leaves through the back door, his gun trained on Slim and his entourage. In the alley, Nathan tells Otis it has been years since anyone has challenged Slim. Nathan gives Otis a portion of the wager money, and they agree to meet later to do more business. As Otis leaves, two of Slim’s men attack him, but he knocks out the first man, and the second man flees. Later at a brothel, Nathan proposes that Otis needs a manager to promote him as a great street fighter. However, they cannot agree on how to split their future profits, and Nathan takes some bets from his cronies to take Otis’ mind off business. Nathan claims that both he and Otis can satisfy three women each within thirty minutes. As Sadie the madam watches the clock, Otis bribes the first two prostitutes to simulate sex. The last whore Sadie chooses is a transvestite, ... +


When Otis arrives in town carrying his custom cue stick, a shoeshine boy directs him to the best pool hustler in town. At the pool hall, Otis watches Louisiana Slim play, challenging the hustler to a game of nine-ball. Slim agrees, but takes Otis’ cue stick, forcing Otis to use Slim’s. The pool hall manager, Nathan, takes the bets and racks up the balls. Otis makes shot after winning shot until Slim’s associate jostles him, and puts an end to his domination. When Slim takes his turn at the table, he misses his shot. When Otis wins the game, he slams Slim’s associate on the pool table and shoves a gun in his face. After Slim says that Otis has entered a world of trouble, Otis leaves through the back door, his gun trained on Slim and his entourage. In the alley, Nathan tells Otis it has been years since anyone has challenged Slim. Nathan gives Otis a portion of the wager money, and they agree to meet later to do more business. As Otis leaves, two of Slim’s men attack him, but he knocks out the first man, and the second man flees. Later at a brothel, Nathan proposes that Otis needs a manager to promote him as a great street fighter. However, they cannot agree on how to split their future profits, and Nathan takes some bets from his cronies to take Otis’ mind off business. Nathan claims that both he and Otis can satisfy three women each within thirty minutes. As Sadie the madam watches the clock, Otis bribes the first two prostitutes to simulate sex. The last whore Sadie chooses is a transvestite, so Nathan calls off the bet. After two prostitutes, Otis’ last whore turns out to be Slim’s woman, Lola, whom he met at the pool hall. With five minutes left on the clock, Otis and Lola sneak out the back door and make love. Otis knows Lola from his old neighborhood, and reveals that he channeled his anger toward his alcoholic father to become a boxer. Nathan appears, and the men split their earnings fifty-fifty. All three decide to leave town with Nathan as the chauffeur-promoter. At a rest stop, Lola explains that Nathan was once a big-time boxing promoter before the Mafia stole his business. Meanwhile, Nathan changes into a fancy suit, with a matching beret and silk tie. Nathan hustles a street fight for Otis, then sets up a second fight with two opponents. Soon, Slim’s two associates join the audience. After Nathan collects bet money, the associates chase after him, but Nathan escapes in the car with Otis and Lola. While driving, Nathan declares that Otis has real boxing training, but Otis is vague about his past experience. They take refuge at a rundown country house belonging to Nathan’s old girl friend, Mabel. Although it has been ten years since Mabel and Nathan have seen each other, she agrees to help him and his friends. She cooks meals and rekindles her romance with Nathan, while he hustles more fights. Otis continues his winning streak although his sixth sense warns him that Nathan has set him up with a nasty opponent. One day, he endures a particularly grueling battle with a kung fu fighter, and later becomes testy when he hears Nathan impress Mabel with his grandiose plans. Otis tells Nathan it is impossible to get ahead because Nathan gambles their money away. Nathan apologizes and arranges a high-stakes fight, but Lola wants Otis to quit. He promises that he will stop once he wins the $5,000 purse. However, Otis’s opponent is a professional boxer, backed by Slim. Otis accuses Nathan of sabotaging him, but Nathan claims he did not know Slim was behind the deal. When the other fighter knocks Otis off his feet, Lola begs him to stop, but Nathan imparts a winning strategy, and soon Otis has the other fighter on the ground, coughing up blood. Slim, dismayed that his fighter has lost, grabs Lola and pulls out a knife. When Nathan responds with a gun, Slim tells him to drop his weapon and orders his associate to shoot Otis. As Lola bites Slim, she is shot dead. Immediately, Slim and his entourage disappear. Once Otis recovers, he waits for the right moment to exact his revenge on Slim. Nathan and Otis drive to Slim’s brothel so Nathan can ask for a job. As Nathan and Slim discuss details, Otis enters the house through the basement, shooting Slim’s associates. When Slim hears the shots, he shoots Nathan, but he is not fast enough to hit Otis, who kills him. Otis examines Nathan’s body, thinking his friend is dead. Later, Otis wanders the streets in a daze until Nathan catches up with him and proposes that Otis try hustling pool again. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.